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Publication numberUS5858959 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/920,488
Publication dateJan 12, 1999
Filing dateAug 29, 1997
Priority dateFeb 28, 1997
Fee statusPaid
Publication number08920488, 920488, US 5858959 A, US 5858959A, US-A-5858959, US5858959 A, US5858959A
InventorsAthanasios Surutzidis, Michael Jude LeBlanc
Original AssigneeProcter & Gamble Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry or cleaning composition comprising nonsoap detergent, glassy particle comprising perfume adsorbed on zeolite and covered in starch hydrolyzate glass
US 5858959 A
Abstract
Glassy particles containing agents useful for laundry and cleaning products (preferably perfumes, bleaching agents, soil release polymers), and laundry and cleaning products containing these glassy particles. The particles comprise a glass derived from one or more at least partially water-soluble hydroxylic compounds, such as hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, sucrose, glucose, and starch hydrolysates. The glassy particle also has a hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%.
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Claims(4)
What is claimed is:
1. A laundry or cleaning composition comprising:
(A) from 0.1% to 10%, by weight of the composition, of a glassy particle and
(B) from 0.1% to 90%, by weight of the composition, of one or more nonsoap detergent active materials;
wherein said glassy particle has mean particle size of from 1 to 500 microns and comprises a perfume adsorbed on a zeolite and covered in a starch hydrolysate glass, said glass having a Tg in the range from 50° C. to 200° C.;
wherein the composition of said glassy particle, expressed in parts by weight of the ingredients as a percentage of the total glassy particle, is as follows:
(a) from 2% to 40% by weight of said perfume;
(b) from 2% to 95% of said zeolite, said zeolite having surface area of 50 m2 /g or higher;
(c) from 12% to 96% of said starch hydrolysate having melting-point in the range from 30° C. to 300° C.; and
(d) from 0.05% to 35% of water or plasticizer.
2. A composition according to claim 1 wherein said perfume comprises from 50% to 100% by weight of deliverable agents.
3. A composition according to claim 1 having the form of a laundry detergent, laundry detergent additive or fabric softener, wherein the starch hydrolysate forming said glass is processable as an extrudable fluid at temperatures in the range from 60° C. to 180° C.; no more than 40% of the total of said perfume is present free from said perfume carrier material; said glassy particle has a moisture content, as prepared, of no more than 7%; and the glass transition temperature, Tg, of the starch hydrolysate is at least 50° C.
4. A composition according to claim 3 wherein said glass comprises hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE

This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 08/807,533, filed Feb. 28, 1997, which is a continuation-in-part application of provisional application Ser. No. 60/003,871, filed Sep. 18, 1995 and PCT application US/96/14870 filed Sep. 13, 1996.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to glassy particles containing agents useful for laundry and cleaning products, and laundry and cleaning products containing these glassy particles. The particles comprise a glass derived from one or more at least partially water-soluble hydroxylic compounds, such as sucrose, glucose,and maltodextrin. The glassy particle also has a hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%. Agents useful for laundry and cleaning products to be delivered from these particles include, for example, perfume agents, bleach agents, soil release polymers, and mixtures thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Laundry and cleaning products continue to evolve to provide not only better cleaning but more benefits, such as color and fabric care and aesthetics. New agents can be developed which provide such results, but frequently in-product stability or through the wash releasability are problematic for their use. A wide variety of carrier systems and coating technologies have been developed to address these needs. Often such systems are not broadly useful.

For example, there has been a continuing search for methods and compositions which will effectively and efficiently deliver perfume from a laundry bath onto fabric surfaces. As can be seen from the art such as that referred to hereinafter, various methods of perfume delivery have been developed. U.S. Pat. No. 4,096,072, Brock et al, issued Jun. 20, 1978, teaches a method for delivering fabric conditioning agents, including perfume, through the wash and dry cycle via a fatty quaternary ammonium salt. U.S. Pat. No. 4,402,856, Schnoring et al, issued Sep. 6, 1983, teaches a microencapsulation technique which involves the formulation of a shell material which will allow for diffusion of perfume out of the capsule only at certain temperatures. U.S. Pat. No. 4,152,272, Young, issued May 1, 1979, teaches incorporating perfume into waxy particles to protect the perfume through storage in dry compositions and through the laundry process. The perfume assertedly diffuses through the wax on the fabric in the dryer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,066,419, Walley et al, issued Nov. 19, 1991, teaches perfume dispersed with a water-insoluble nonpolymeric carrier material and encapsulated in a protective shell by coating with a water-insoluble friable coating material. U.S. Pat. No. 5,094,761, Trinh et al, issued Mar. 10, 1992, teaches a perfume/cyclodextrin complex protected by clay which provides perfume benefits to at least partially wetted fabrics.

Another method for delivery of perfume in the wash cycle involves combining the perfume with an emulsifier and water- soluble polymer, forming the mixture into particles, and adding them to a laundry composition, as is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,209,417, Whyte, issued Jun. 24, 1980; U.S. Pat. No. 4,339,356, Whyte, issued Jul. 13, 1982; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,576,760, Gould et al, issued Apr. 27, 1971.

The perfume can also be adsorbed onto a porous carrier material, such as a polymeric material, as described in U.K. Pat. Pub. 2,066,839, Bares et al, published Jul. 15, 1981. Perfumes have also been adsorbed onto a clay or zeolite material which is then admixed into particulate detergent compositions. Generally, the preferred zeolites have been Type A or 4A Zeolites with a nominal pore size of approximately 4 Angstrom units. It is now believed that with Zeolite A or 4A, the perfume is adsorbed onto the zeolite surface with relatively little of the perfume actually absorbing into the zeolite pores. While the adsorption of perfume onto zeolite or polymeric carriers may perhaps provide some improvement over the addition of neat perfume admixed with detergent compositions, industry is still searching for improvements in the length of storage time of the laundry compositions without loss of perfume characteristics, in the intensity or amount of fragrance delivered to fabrics, and in the duration of the perfume scent on the treated fabric surfaces.

Combinations of perfumes generally with larger pore size zeolites X and Y are also taught in the art. East German Patent Publication No. 248,508, published Aug. 12, 1987 relates to perfume dispensers (e.g., an air freshener) containing a faujasite-type zeolite (e.g., zeolite X and Y) loaded with perfumes. The critical molecular diameters of the perfume molecules are said to be between 2-8 Angstroms. Also, East German Patent Publication No. 137,599, published Sep. 12, 1979 teaches compositions for use in powdered washing agents to provide thermoregulated release of perfume. Zeolites A, X and Y are taught for use in these compositions. These earlier teachings are repeated in the more recently filed European applications Publication No. 535,942, published Apr. 7, 1993, and Publication No. 536,942, published Apr. 14, 1993, by Unilever PLC, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,336,665, issued Aug. 9, 1994 to Gamer-Gray et al.

Effective perfume delivery compositions are taught by WO 94/28107, published Dec. 8, 1994 by The Procter & Gamble Company. These compositions comprise zeolites having pore size of at least 6 Angstroms (e.g., Zeolite X or Y), perfume releaseably incorporated in the pores of the zeolite, and a matrix coated on the perfumed zeolite comprising a water-soluble (wash removable) composition in which the perfume is substantially insoluble, comprising from 0% to about 80%, by weight, of at least one solid polyol containing more than 3 hydroxyl moieties and from about 20% to about 100%, by weight, of a fluid diol or polyol in which the perfume is substantially insoluble and in which the solid polyol is substantially soluble.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,258,132, issued Nov. 2, 1993, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,230,822, issued Jul. 27, 1993, both to Kamel et al., relate to solid core particles encapsulated in a single coat of paraffin wax, the wax having a melting point of about 40 C. to about 50 C. and solids content of from 100 to about 35% at 40 C. and from 0 to about 15% at 50 C. This coating is said to prolong the time in which the encapsulated particles remain active in aqueous environment. U.S. Pat. No. 5,141,664, issued Aug. 25, 1992, to Corring et al., relates to cleaning compositions comprising a clear gel with opaque particles of active material uniformly dispersed and suspended in the gel. The active material is surrounded by a protective substance such as an encapsulating layer.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,809,895, issued Oct. 15, 1957 to Swisher, relates to solid essential oil containing compositions suitable for use as an ingredient of various foods, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. This is said to involve forming a finely dispersed essential oil--corn syrup emulsion which is solidified and further treated to give a particulate oxidation protected essential oil product. The process is described as involving emulsifying an essential oil to which an antioxidant and dispersing agent have been added in the corn syrup solids solution, and forming a particulate solid emulsion.

In spite of such efforts, there continues to be a need for particulate delivery systems capable of incorporating a wide variety of laundry agents into laundry and cleaning compositions, especially granular detergent compositions and granular automatic dishwashing detergent compositions. Especially desirable are such particles which are stable under storage conditions of high heat and humidity. Also preferred for use are such compositions to protect water-sensitive agents from detrimental levels of water.

BACKGROUND ART

U.S. Pat. No. 4,539,135, Ramachandran et al, issued Sep. 3, 1985, discloses particulate laundry compounds comprising a clay or zeolite material carrying perfume. U.S. Pat. No. 4,713,193, Tai, issued Dec. 15, 1987, discloses a free-flowing particulate detergent additive comprising a liquid or oily adjunct with a zeolite material. Japanese Patent HEI 4 1992!-218583, Nishishiro, published Aug. 10, 1992, discloses controlled-release materials including perfumes plus zeolites. U.S. Pat. No. 4,304,675, Corey et al, issued Dec. 8, 1981, teaches a method and composition comprising zeolites for deodorizing articles. East German Patent Publication No. 248,508, published Aug. 12, 1987; East German Patent Publication No. 137,599, published Sep. 12, 1979; European applications Publication No. 535,942, published Apr. 7, 1993, and Publication No. 536,942, published Apr. 14, 1993, by Unilever PLC; U.S. Pat. No. 5,336,665, issued Aug. 9, 1994 to Garner-Gray et al.; WO 94/28107, published Dec. 8, 1994; U.S. Pat. No. 5,258,132, issued Nov. 2, 1993, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,230,822, issued Jul. 27, 1993, both to Kamel et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,141,664, issued Aug. 25, 1992, to Corring et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 2,809,895, issued Oct. 15, 1957 to Swisher.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a laundry or cleaning composition comprising:

(a) a glassy particle comprising agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions selected from perfumes, bleaches, bleach promoters, bleach activators, bleach catalysts, chelants, antiscalants, threshold inhibitors, dye transfer inhibitors, photobleaches, enzymes, catalytic antibodies, brighteners, fabric-substantive dyes, antifungals, antimicrobials, insect repellents, soil release polymers, fabric softening agents, dye fixatives, pH jump systems, and mixtures thereof (preferably those agents useful at low levels in detergent compositions); and

(b) at least one nonsoap detergent active material; wherein said glassy particle comprises a glass derived from one or more at least partially water-soluble hydroxylic compounds, wherein at least one of said hydroxylic compounds has an anhydrous, nonplasticized, glass transition temperature, Tg, of about 0C. or higher;

and wherein further said glassy particle has a hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%.

The present invention also relates to a glassy particle useful in laundry and cleaning compositions comprising:

(a) agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions selected from perfumes, bleaches, bleach promoters, bleach activators, bleach catalysts, chelants, antiscalants, threshold inhibitors, dye transfer inhibitors, photobleaches, enzymes, catalytic antibodies, brighteners, fabric-substantive dyes, antifungals, antimicrobials, insect repellents, soil release polymers, fabric softening agents, dye fixatives, pH jump systems, and mixtures thereof (preferred are perfume agents in a zeolite carrier; bleaching agents; soil release polymers; photobleaches; enzymes); and

(b) a glass derived from one or more at least partially water-soluble hydroxylic compounds, wherein at least one of said hydroxylic compounds has an anhydrous, nonplasticized, glass transition temperature, Tg, of about 0° C. or higher;

wherein said glassy particle has a hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%;

and wherein further when said agent is a perfume agent, then said glassy particle further comprises at least one perfume carrier material (preferably zeolite X or Y).

All percentages, ratios, and proportions herein are on a weight basis unless otherwise indicated. All documents cited are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a glassy particle delivery system comprising agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions. The glass is derived from one or more at least partially water-soluble hydroxylic compounds, wherein at least one of said hydroxylic compounds has an anhydrous, nonplasticized, glass transition temperature, Tg, of about 0° C. or higher. Further the glassy particle has a hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%. These delivery systems are especially useful in granular detergent compositions, particularly to deliver laundry and cleaning agents useful at low levels in the compositions.

The at least partially water soluble hydroxylic compounds useful herein are preferably selected from the following classes of materials.

1. Carbohydrates, which can be any or a mixture of: i) Simple sugars (or monosaccharides); ii) Oligosaccharides (defined as carbohydrate chains consisting of 2-35 monosaccharide molecules); iii) Polysaccharides (defined as carbohydrate chains consisting of at least 35 monosaccharide molecules); iv) Starches including modified starches and hydrolysates; and v) hydrogenates of i), ii), iii), and iv).

Both linear and branched carbohydrate chains may be used. In addition chemically modified starches and poly-/oligo-saccharides may be used. Typical modifications include the addition of hydrophobic moieties of the form of alkyl, aryl, etc. identical to those found in surfactants to impart some surface activity to these compounds. Preferred carbohydrate materials are the hydrogenates and in particular hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Most preferred are hydrogenated starch hydrolysates which are derived from carbohydrates having a dextrose equivalence (DE) of less than 45 and are typically produced by hydrogenation of starch hydrolysates with a DE of less than 45. Suitable examples of hydrogenated starch hydrolysates include those available under the tradenames POLYSORB and LYCASINE from Roquette America of Keokuk, Iowa, and HYSTAR from Lonza of Fairlawn, N.J.

As used herein, the term "dextrose equivalence" and abbreviated "DE", refers to the total amount of reducing sugars expressed as dextrose that is present, calculated as a percentage of the total dry substance. The amount is measured on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 being the amount present in a pure sugar. The usual technique for determining dextrose equivalence is a volumetric alkaline copper method. Both dextrose equivalence and the methods for measuring dextrose equivalence are well-known in the art particularly in the food and syrup industries.

2. All natural or synthetic gums such as alginate esters, carrageenin, agar-agar, pectic acid, and natural gums such as gum arabic, gum tragacanth and gum karaya.

3. Chitin and chitosan.

4. Cellulose and cellulose derivatives. Examples include: i) Cellulose acetate and Cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP); ii) Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC); iii) Carboxymethylccllulose (CMC); iv) all enteric/aquateric coatings and mixtures thereof.

5. Silicates, Phosphates and Borates.

6. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA).

7. Polyethylene glycol (PEG).

Materials within these classes which are not at least partially water soluble and which have glass transition temperatures, Tg, below the lower limit herein of about 0° C. are useful herein only when mixed in such amounts with the hydroxylic compounds useful herein having the required higher Tg such that the glassy particle produced has the required hygroscopicity value of less than about 80%.

Glass transition temperature, commonly abbreviated "Tg", is a well known and readily determined property for glassy materials. This transition is described as being equivalent to the liquification, upon heating through the Tg region, of a material in the glassy state to one in the liquid state. It is not a phase transition such as melting, vaporization, or sublimation. See William P. Brennan, "What is a Tg? A review of the scanning calorimetry of the glass transition", Thermal Analysis Application Study #7, Perkin-Elmer Corporation, March 1973.! Measurement of Tg is readily obtained by using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter.

For purposes of the present invention, the Tg of the hydroxylic compounds is obtained for the anhydrous compound not containing any plasticizer (which will impact the measured Tg value of the hydroxylic compound). Glass transition temperature is also described in detail in P. Peyser, "Glass Transition Temperatures of Polymers", Polymer Handbook, Third Edition, J. Brandrup and E. H. Immergut (Wiley-Interscience; 1989), pp. VI/209-VI/277.

At least one of the hydroxylic compounds useful in the present invention glassy particles must have an anhydrous, nonplasticized Tg of at least 0° C., and for particles not having a moisture barrier coating, at least about 20° C., preferably at least about 40° C., more preferably at least 60° C., and most preferably at least about 100° C. It is also preferred that these compounds be low temperature processable, preferably within the range of from about 50° C. to about 200° C., and more preferably within the range of from about 60° C. to about 180° C. Such hydroxylic compounds include sucrose, glucose, lactose, starch hydrolysates such as corn syrups and maltodextrin, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.

The "hygroscopicity value", as used herein, means the level of moisture uptake by the glassy particles, as measured by the percent increase in weight of the particles under the following test method. The hygroscopicity value required for the present invention glassy particles is determined by placing 2 grams of particles (approximately 500 micron size particles; not having any moisture barrier coating) in an open container petrie dish under conditions of 90° F. and 80% relative humidity for a period of 4 weeks. The percent increase in weight of the particles at the end of this time is the particles hygroscopicity value as used herein. Preferred particles have hygroscopicity value of less than about 50%, more preferably less than about 10%.

The glassy particles of the present invention typically comprise from about 10% to about 99.99% of at least partially water soluble hydroxylic compounds, preferably from about 20% to about 90%, and more perferably from about 20% to about 75%. The glassy particles of the present invention also typically comprise from about 0.01% to about 90% of agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions, preferably from about 10% to about 80%, and more perferably from about 25% to about 80%.

Methods for making the present invention glassy particles are extrapolated from the candy-making art. Such methods include, for example, the methods described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,809,895, issued Oct. 15, 1957 to Swisher.

Agents Useful for Laundry or Cleaning Compositions:

Agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions according to the present invention are selected from the group consisting of perfumes, bleaches, bleach promoters, bleach activators, bleach catalysts, chelants, antiscalants, threshold inhibitors, dye transfer inhibitors, photobleaches, enzymes, catalytic antibodies, brighteners, fabric-substantive dyes, antifungals, antimicrobials, insect repellents, soil release polymers, fabric softening agents, dye fixatives, pH jump systems, and mixtures thereof. As can be appreciated for the present invention, these agents useful for laundry or cleaning compositions which are incorporated into the glassy particles of the present invention may be the same as or different from those agents which are used to formulate the remainder of the laundry and cleaning compositions containing the glassy particle. For example, the glassy particle may comprise a perfume agent and (the same or different) agent may also be blended into the final composition along with the perfume-containing glassy particle. These agents are selected as desired for the type of composition being formulated, such as granular laundry detergent compositions, granular automatic dishwashing compositions, or hard surface cleaners.

The various types of agents useful in laundry and cleaning compositions are described hereinafter. The compositions containing glassy particles can optionally include one or more other detergent adjunct materials or other materials for assisting or enhancing cleaning performance, treatment of the substrate to be cleaned, or to modify the aesthetics of the detergent composition (e.g., perfumes, colorants, dyes, etc.).

Perfume

As used herein the term "perfume" is used to indicate any odoriferous material which is subsequently released into the aqueous bath and/or onto fabrics contacted therewith. The perfume will most often be liquid at ambient temperatures. A wide variety of chemicals are known for perfume uses, including materials such as aldehydes, ketones and esters. More commonly, naturally occurring plant and animal oils and exudates comprising complex mixtures of various chemical components are known for use as perfumes. The perfumes herein can be relatively simple in their compositions or can comprise highly sophisticated complex mixtures of natural and synthetic chemical components, all chosen to provide any desired odor. Typical perfumes can comprise, for example, woody/earthy bases containing exotic materials such as sandalwood, civet and patchouli oil. The perfumes can be of a light floral fragrance, e.g., rose extract, violet extract, and lilac. The perfumes can also be formulated to provide desirable fruity odors, e.g., lime, lemon, and orange. Any chemically compatible material which exudes a pleasant or otherwise desirable odor can be used in the perfumed compositions herein.

Perfumes also include pro-fragrances such as acetal pro-fragrances, ketal pro-fragrances, ester pro-fragrances (e.g., digeranyl succinate), hydrolyzable inorganic-organic pro-fragrances, and mixtures thereof. These pro-fragrances may release the perfume material as a result of simple hydrolysis, or may be pH-change-triggered pro-fragrances (e.g., pH drop) or may be enzymatically releasable pro-fragrances.

Preferred perfume agents useful herein are defined as follows.

For purposes of the present invention compositions exposed to the aqueous medium of the laundry wash process, several characteristic parameters of perfume molecules are important to identify and define: their longest and widest measures; cross sectional area; molecular volume; and molecular surface area. These values are calculated for individual perfume molecules using the CHEMX program (from Chemical Design, Ltd.) for molecules in a minimum energy conformation as determined by the standard geometry optimized in CHEMX and using standard atomic van der Waal radii. Definitions of the parameters are as follows:

"Longest": the greatest distance (in Angstroms) between atoms in the molecule augmented by their van der Waal radii.

"Widest": the greatest distance (in Angstroms) between atoms in the molecule augmented by their van der Waal radii in the projection of the molecule on a plane perpendicular to the "longest" axis of the molecule.

"Cross Sectional Area": area (in square Angstrom units) filled by the projection of the molecule in the plane perpendicular to the longest axis.

"Molecular Volume": the volume (in cubic Angstrom units) filled by the molecule in its minimum energy configuration.

"Molecular Surface Area": arbitrary units that scale as square Angstroms (for calibration purposes, the molecules methyl beta naphthyl ketone, benzyl salicylate, and camphor gum have surface areas measuring 128±3, 163.5±3, and 122.5±3 units respectively).

The shape of the molecule is also important for incorporation. For example, a symmetric perfectly spherical molecule that is small enough to be included into the zeolite channels has no preferred orientation and is incorporated from any approach direction. However, for molecules that have a length that exceeds the pore dimension, there is a preferred "approach orientation" for inclusion. Calculation of a molecule's volume/surface area ratio is used herein to express the "shape index" for a molecule. The higher the value, the more spherical the molecule.

For purposes of the present invention, perfume agents are classified according to their ability to be incorporated into zeolite pores, and hence their utility as components for delivery from the zeolite carrier through an aqueous environment. Plotting these agents in a volume/surface area ratio vs. cross sectional area plane permits convenient classification of the agents in groups according to their incorporability into zeolite. In particular, for the zeolite X and Y carriers according to the present invention, agents are incorporated if they fall below the line (herein referred to as the "incorporation line") defined by the equation:

y=-0.01068x +1.497

where x is cross sectional area and y is volume/surface area ratio. Agents that fall below the incorporation line are referred to herein as "deliverable agents"; those agents that fall above the line are referred to herein as "non-deliverable agents".

For containment through the wash, deliverable agents are retained in the zeolite carrier as a function of their affinity for the carrier relative to competing deliverable agents. Affinity is impacted by the molecule's size, hydrophibicity, functionality, volatility, etc., and can be effected via interaction between deliverable agents within the zeolite carrier. These interactions permit improved through the wash containment for the deliverable agents mixture incorporated. Specifically, for the present invention, the use of deliverable agents having at least one dimension that is closely matched to the zeolite carrier pore dimension slows the loss of other deliverable agents in the aqueous wash environment. Deliverable agents that function in this manner are referred to herein as "blocker agents", and are defined herein in the volume/surface area ratio vs. cross sectional area plane as those deliverable agent molecules falling below the "incorporation line" (as defined hereinbefore) but above the line (herein referred to as the "blocker line") defined by the equation:

y=-0.01325x+1.46

where x is cross sectional area and y is volume/surface area ratio.

For the present invention compositions which utilize zeolite X and Y as the carriers, all deliverable agents below the "incorporation line" can be delivered and released from the present invention compositions, with the preferred materials being those falling below the "blocker line". Also preferred are mixtures of blocker agents and other deliverable agents. Laundry perfume agent mixtures useful for the present invention laundry particles preferably comprise from about 5% to about 100% (preferably from about 25% to about 100%; more preferably from about 50% to about 100%) deliverable agents; and preferably comprising from about 0.1% to about 100% (preferably from about 0.1% to about 50%) blocker agents, by weight of the laundry agents mixture.

Obviously for the present invention compositions whereby perfume agents are being delivered by the compositions, sensory perception is required for a benefit to be seen by the consumer. For the present invention perfume compositions, the most preferred perfume agents useful herein have a threshold of noticability (measured as odor detection thresholds ("ODT") under carefully controlled GC conditions as described in detail hereinafter) less than or equal to 10 parts per billion ("ppb"). Agents with ODTs between 10 ppb and 1 part per million ("ppm") are less preferred. Agents with ODTs above 1 ppm are preferably avoided. Laundry agent perfume mixtures useful for the present invention laundry particles preferably comprise from about 0% to about 80% of deliverable agents with ODTs between 10 ppb and 1 ppm, and from about 20% to about 100% (preferably from about 30% to about 100%; more preferably from about 50% to about 100%) of deliverable agents with ODTs less than or equal to 10 ppb.

Also preferred are perfumes carried through the laundry process and thereafter released into the air around the dried fabrics (e.g., such as the space around the fabric during storage). This requires movement of the perfume out of the zeolite pores with subsequent partitioning into the air around the fabric. Preferred perfume agents are therefore further identified on the basis of their volatility. Boiling point is used herein as a measure of volatility and preferred materials have a boiling point less than 300 C. Laundry agent perfume mixtures useful for the present invention laundry particles preferably comprise at least about 50% of deliverable agents with boiling point less than 300 C. (preferably at least about 60%; more preferably at least about 70%).

In addition, preferred laundry particles herein comprise compositions wherein at least about 80%, and more preferably at least about 90%, of the deliverable agents have a "ClogP value" greater than about 1.0. ClogP values are obtained as follows.

Calculation of ClogP:

These perfume ingredients are characterized by their octanol/water partition coefficient P. The octanol/water partition coefficient of a perfume ingredient is the ratio between its equilibrium concentration in octanol and in water. Since the partition coefficients of most perfume ingredients are large, they are more conveniently given in the form of their logarithm to the base 10, logP.

The logP of many perfume ingredients has been reported; for example, the Pomona92 database, available from Daylight Chemical Information Systems, Inc. (Daylight CIS), contains many, along with citations to the original literature.

However, the logP values are most conveniently calculated by the "CLOGP" program, also available from Daylight CIS. This program also lists experimental logP values when they are available in the Pomona92 database. The "calculated logP" (ClogP) is determined by the fragment approach of Hansch and Leo (cf., A. Leo, in Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 4, C. Hansch, P. G. Sammens, J. B. Taylor and C. A. Ramsden, Eds., p. 295, Pergamon Press, 1990). The fragment approach is based on the chemical structure of each perfume ingredient and takes into account the numbers and types of atoms, the atom connectivity, and chemical bonding. The ClogP values, which are the most reliable and widely used estimates for this physicochemical property, can be used instead of the experimental logP values in the selection of perfume ingredients.

Determination of Odor Detection Thresholds:

The gas chromatograph is characterized to determine the exact volume of material injected by the syringe, the precise split ratio, and the hydrocarbon response using a hydrocarbon standard of known concentration and chain-length distribution. The air flow rate is accurately measured and, assuming the duration of a human inhalation to last 0.2 minutes, the sampled volume is calculated. Since the precise concentration at the detector at any point in time is known, the mass per volume inhaled is known and hence the concentration of material. To determine whether a material has a threshold below 10 ppb, solutions are delivered to the sniff port at the back-calculated concentration. A panelist sniffs the GC effluent and identifies the retention time when odor is noticed. The average over all panelists determines the threshold of noticeability.

The necessary amount of analyte is injected onto the column to achieve a 10 ppb concentration at the detector. Typical gas chromatograph parameters for determining odor detection thresholds are listed below.

GC: 5890 Series II with FID detector

7673 Autosampler

Column: J&W Scientific DB-1

Length 30 meters ID 0.25 mm film thickness 1 micron

Method

Split Injection: 17/1 split ratio

Autosampler: 1.13 microliters per injection

Column Flow: 1.10 mL/minute

Air Flow: 345 mL/minute

Inlet Temp. 245° C.

Detector Temp. 285° C.

Temperature Information

Initial Temperature: 50° C.

Rate: 5C./minute

Final Temperature: 280° C.

Final Time: 6 minutes

Leading assumptions: 0.02 minutes per sniff GC air adds to sample dilution

Perfume Fixative

Optionally, the perfume can be combined with a perfume fixative. The perfume fixative materials employed herein are characterized by several criteria which make them especially suitable in the practice of this invention. Dispersible, toxicologically-acceptable, non-skin irritating, inert to the perfume, degradable and/or available from renewable resources, and relatively odorless additives are used. Perfume fixatives are believed to slow the evaporation of more volatile components of the perfume.

Examples of suitable fixatives include members selected from the group consisting of diethyl phthalate, musks, and mixtures thereof. If used, the perfume fixative comprises from about 10% to abut 50%, preferably from about 20% to about 40%, by weight, of the perfume.

Perfume Carrier Materials

As used herein, "perfume carrier materials" means any material capable of supporting (e.g., by absorption onto the surface or adsorption into pores) a perfume agent for incorporation into the glassy particles. Such materials include porous solids selected from the group consisting of amorphous silicates, crystalline nonlayer silicates, layer silicates, calcium carbonates, calcium/sodium carbonate double salts, sodium carbonates, clays, zeolites, sodalites, alkali metal phosphates, macroporous zeolites, chitin microbeads, carboxyalkylcelluloses, carboxyalkylstarches, cyclodextrins, porous starches and mixtures thereof.

Preferred perfume carrier materials are zeolite X, zeolite Y and mixtures thereof. The term "zeolite" used herein refers to a crystalline aluminosilicate material. The structural formula of a zeolite is based on the crystal unit cell, the smallest unit of structure represented by

Mm/n (AlO2)m(SiO2)y!.xH2O

where n is the valence of the cation M, x is the number of water molecules per unit cell, m and y are the total number of tetrahedra per unit cell, and y/m is 1 to 100. Most preferably, y/m is 1 to 5. The cation M can be Group IA and Group IIA elements, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

The zeolite useful herein is a faujasite-type zeolite, including Type X Zeolite or Type Y Zeolite, both with a nominal pore size of about 8 Angstrom units, typically in the range of from about 7.4 to about 10 Angstrom units.

The aluminosilicate zeolite materials useful in the practice of this invention are commercially available. Methods for producing X and Y-type zeolites are well- known and available in standard texts. Preferred synthetic crystalline aluminosilicate materials useful herein are available under the designation Type X or Type Y.

For purposes of illustration and not by way of limitation, in a preferred embodiment, the crystalline aluminosilicate material is Type X and is selected from the following:

Na86  AlO2 !86.(SiO2)106 !.xH2 O,(I)

K86  AlO2 !86.(SiO2)106 !.xH2 O,(II)

Ca40 Na6  AlO2 !86.(SiO2)106 !.xH2 O,(III)

Sr21 Ba22  AlO2 !86.(SiO2)106 !.xH2 O,(IV)

and mixtures thereof, wherein x is from about 0 to about 276. Zeolites of Formula (I) and (II) have a nominal pore size or opening of 8.4 Angstroms units. Zeolites of Formula (III) and (IV) have a nominal pore size or opening of 8.0 Angstroms units.

In another preferred embodiment, the crystalline aluminosilicate material is Type Y and is selected from the following:

Na56  AlO2 !56.(SiO2)136.xH2 O,(V)

K56  AlO2 !56.(SiO2)136 !.xH2 O(VI)

and mixture thereof, wherein x is from about 0 to about 276. Zeolites of Formula (V) and (VI) have a nominal pore size or opening of 8.0 Angstroms units.

Zeolites used in the present invention are in particle form having an average particle size from about 0.5 microns to about 120 microns, preferably from about 0.5 microns to about 30 microns, as measured by standard particle size analysis technique.

The size of the zeolite particles allows them to be entrained in the fabrics with which they come in contact. Once established on the fabric surface (with their coating matrix having been washed away during the laundry process), the zeolites can begin to release their incorporated laundry agents, especially when subjected to heat or humid conditions.

Incorporation of Perfume in Zeolite--The Type X or Type Y Zeolites to be used herein preferably contain less than about 10% desorbable water, more preferably less than about 8% desorbable water, and most preferably less than about 5% desorbable water. Such materials may be obtained by first activating/dehydrating by heating to about 150°-350° C., optionally with reduced pressure (from about 0.001 to about 20 Torr), for at least 12 hours. After activation, the agent is slowly and thoroughly mixed with the activated zeolite and, optionally, heated to about 60° C. for up to about 2 hours to accelerate absorption equilibrium within the zeolite particles. The perfume/zeolite mixture is then cooled to room temperature and is in the form of a free-flowing powder.

The amount of laundry agent incorporated into the zeolite carrier is less than about 20%, typically less than about 18.5%, by weight of the loaded particle, given the limits on the pore volume of the zeolite. It is to be recognized, however, that the present invention particles may exceed this level of laundry agent by weight of the particle, but recognizing that excess levels of laundry agents will not be incorporated into the zeolite, even if only deliverable agents are used. Therefore, the present invention particles may comprise more than 20% by weight of laundry agents. Since any excess laundry agents (as well as any non-deliverable agents present) are not incorporated into the zeolite pores, these materials are likely to be immediately released to the wash solution upon contact with the aqueous wash medium.

In addition to its function of containing/protecting the perfume in the zeolite particles, the glassy particle also conveniently serves to agglomerate multiple perfumed zeolite particles into agglomerates having an overall particles size in the range of 200 to 1000 microns, preferably 400 to 600 microns. This reduces dustiness. Moreover, it lessens the tendency of the smaller, individual perfumed zeolites to sift to the bottom of containers filled with granular detergents, which, themselves, typically have particle sizes in the range of 200 to 1000 microns.

Detersive Surfactant--Detersive surfactants included in the fully-formulated detergent compositions afforded by the present invention comprises at least 1%, preferably from about 1% to about 99.8%, by weight of detergent composition depending upon the particular surfactants used and the effects desired. In a highly preferred embodiment, the detersive surfactant comprises from about 5% to about 80% by weight of the composition.

The detersive surfactant can be nonionic, anionic, ampholytic, zwitterionic, or cationic. Mixtures of these surfactants can also be used. Preferred detergent compositions comprise anionic detersive surfactants or mixtures of anionic surfactants with other surfactants, especially nonionic surfactants.

Nonlimiting examples of surfactants useful herein include the conventional C11 -C18 alkyl benzene sulfonates and primary, secondary and random alkyl sulfates, the C10 -C18 alkyl alkoxy sulfates, the C10 -C18 alkyl polyglycosides and their corresponding sulfated polyglycosides, C12 -C18 alpha-sulfonated fatty acid esters, C12 -C18 alkyl and alkyl phenol alkoxylates (especially ethoxylates and mixed ethoxy/propoxy), C12 -C18 betaines and sulfobetaines ("sultaines"), C10 -C18 amine oxides, and the like. Other conventional useful surfactants are listed in standard texts.

One class of nonionic surfactant particularly useful in detergent compositions of the present invention is condensates of ethylene oxide with a hydrophobic moiety to provide a surfactant having an average hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) in the range of from 5 to 17, preferably from 6 to 14, more preferably from 7 to 12. The hydrophobic (lipophilic) moiety may be aliphatic or aromatic in nature. The length of the polyoxyethylene group which is condensed with any particular hydrophobic group can be readily adjusted to yield a water-soluble compound having the desired degree of balance between hydrophilic and hydrophobic elements.

Especially preferred nonionic surfactants of this type are the C9 -C15 primary alcohol ethoxylates containing 3-8 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol, particularly the C14 -C15 primary alcohols containing 6-8 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol, the C12 -C15 primary alcohols containing 3-5 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol, and mixtures thereof.

Another suitable class of nonionic surfactants comprises the polyhydroxy fatty acid amides of the formula:

R2 C(O)N(R1)Z                                    (I)

wherein: R1 is H, C1 -C8 hydrocarbyl, 2-hydroxyethyl, 2-hydroxypropyl, or a mixture thereof, preferably C1 -C4 alkyl, more preferably C1 or C2 alkyl, most preferably C1 alkyl (i.e., methyl); and R2 is a C5 -C32 hydrocarbyl moiety, preferably straight chain C7 -C19 alkyl or alkenyl, more preferably straight chain C9 -C17 alkyl or alkenyl, most preferably straight chain C11 -C19 alkyl or alkenyl, or mixture thereof; and Z is a polyhydroxyhydrocarbyl moiety having a linear hydrocarbyl chain with at least 2 (in the case of glyceraldehyde) or at least 3 hydroxyls (in the case of other reducing sugars) directly connected to the chain, or an alkoxylated derivative (preferably ethoxylated or propoxylated) thereof. Z preferably will be derived from a reducing sugar in a reductive amination reaction; more preferably Z is a glycityl moiety. Suitable reducing sugars include glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose, galactose, mannose, and xylose, as well as glyceraldehyde. As raw materials, high dextrose corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and high maltose corn syrup can be utilized as well as the individual sugars listed above. These corn syrups may yield a mix of sugar components for Z. It should be understood that it is by no means intended to exclude other suitable raw materials. Z preferably will be selected from the group consisting of --CH2 --(CHOH)n --CH2 OH, --CH(CH2 OH)--(CHOH)n-1 --CH2 OH, --CH2 --(CHOH)2 (CHOR')(CHOH)--CH2 OH, where n is an integer from 1 to 5, inclusive, and R' is H or a cyclic mono- or poly- saccharide, and alkoxylated derivatives thereof. Most preferred are glycityls wherein n is 4, particularly --CH2 --(CHOH)4 --CH2 OH.

In Formula (I), R1 can be, for example, N-methyl, N-ethyl, N-propyl, N-isopropyl, N-butyl, N-isobutyl, N-2-hydroxy ethyl, or N-2-hydroxy propyl. For highest sudsing, R1 is preferably methyl or hydroxyalkyl. If lower sudsing is desired, R1 is preferably C2 -C8 alkyl, especially n-propyl, iso-propyl, n-butyl, iso-butyl, pentyl, hexyl and 2-ethyl hexyl.

R2 --CO--N< can be, for example, cocamide, stearamide, oleamide, lauramide, myristamide, capricamide, palmitamide, tallowamide, etc.

Soaps (i.e., salts of fatty acids) may also be used as desired for a portion of the detersive surfactants herein.

Low-Foaming Nonionic Surfactants are useful in Automatic Dishwashing to assist cleaning, help defoam food soil foams, especially from proteins, and to help control spotting/filming and are desirably included in the present detergent compositions at levels of from about 0.1% to about 20% of the composition. In general, bleach-stable surfactants are preferred. ADD (Automatic Dishwashing Detergent) compositions of the present invention preferably comprise low foaming nonionic surfactants (LFNIs). LFNI can be present in amounts from 0 to about 10% by weight, preferably from about 0.25% to about 4%. LFNIs are most typically used in ADDs on account of the improved water-sheeting action (especially from glass) which they confer to the ADD product. They also encompass non-silicone, nonphosphate polymeric materials further illustrated hereinafter which are known to defoam food soils encountered in automatic dishwashing.

Preferred LFNIs include nonionic alkoxylated surfactants, especially ethoxylates derived from primary alcohols, and blends thereof with more sophisticated surfactants, such as the polyoxypropylene/polyoxyethylene/polyoxypropylene (PO/EO/PO) reverse block polymers. The PO/EO/PO polymer-type surfactants are well-known to have foam suppressing or defoaming action, especially in relation to common food soil ingredients such as egg.

The invention encompasses preferred embodiments wherein LFNI is present, and wherein this component is solid at about 95° F. (35° C.), more preferably solid at about 77° F. (25° C.). For ease of manufacture, a preferred LFNI has a melting point between about 77° F. (25° C.) and about 140° F. (60° C.), more preferably between about 80° F. (26.6° C.) and 110° F. (43.3° C.).

In a preferred embodiment, the LFNI is an ethoxylated surfactant derived from the reaction of a monohydroxy alcohol or alkylphenol containing from about 8 to about 20 carbon atoms, with from about 6 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol or alkyl phenol on an average basis.

A particularly preferred LFNI is derived from a straight chain fatty alcohol containing from about 16 to about 20 carbon atoms (C16 -C20 alcohol), preferably a C18 alcohol, condensed with an average of from about 6 to about 15 moles, preferably from about 7 to about 12 moles, and most preferably from about 7 to about 9 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of alcohol. Preferably the ethoxylated nonionic surfactant so derived has a narrow ethoxylate distribution relative to the average.

The LFNI can optionally contain propylene oxide in an amount up to about 15% by weight. Other preferred LFNI surfactants can be prepared by the processes described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,223,163, issued Sep. 16, 1980, Builloty, incorporated herein by reference.

Highly preferred ADDs herein wherein the LFNI is present make use of ethoxylated monohydroxy alcohol or alkyl phenol and additionally comprise a polyoxyethylene, polyoxypropylene block polymeric compound; the ethoxylated monohydroxy alcohol or alkyl phenol fraction of the LFNI comprising from about 20% to about 100%, preferably from about 30% to about 70%, of the total LFNI.

Suitable block polyoxyethylene-polyoxypropylene polymeric compounds that meet the requirements described hereinbefore include those based on ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, glycerol, trimethylolpropane and ethylenediamine as initiator reactive hydrogen compound. Polymeric compounds made from a sequential ethoxylation and propoxylation of initiator compounds with a single reactive hydrogen atom, such as C12-18 aliphatic alcohols, do not generally provide satisfactory suds control in the instant ADDs. Certain of the block polymer surfactant compounds designated PLURONIC® and TETRONIC® by the BASF-Wyandotte Corp., Wyandotte, Mich., are suitable in ADD compositions of the invention.

A particularly preferred LFNI contains from about 40% to about 70% of a polyoxypropylene/polyoxyethylene/polyoxypropylene block polymer blend comprising about 75%, by weight of the blend, of a reverse block co-polymer of polyoxyethylene and polyoxypropylene containing 17 moles of ethylene oxide and 44 moles of propylene oxide; and about 25%, by weight of the blend, of a block co-polymer of polyoxyethylene and polyoxypropylene initiated with trimethylolpropane and containing 99 moles of propylene oxide and 24 moles of ethylene oxide per mole of trimethylolpropane.

Suitable for use as LFNI in the ADD compositions are those LFNI having relatively low cloud points and high hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). Cloud points of 1% solutions in water are typically below about 32° C. and preferably lower, e.g., 0° C., for optimum control of sudsing throughout a full range of water temperatures.

LFNIs which may also be used include a C18 alcohol polyethoxylate, having a degree of ethoxylation of about 8, commercially available as SLF18 from Olin Corp., and any biodegradable LFNI having the melting point properties discussed hereinabove.

Enzymes--Enzymes can be included in the present detergent compositions for a variety of purposes, including removal of protein-based, carbohydrate-based, or triglyceride-based stains from surfaces such as textiles or dishes, for the prevention of refugee dye transfer, for example in laundering, and for fabric restoration. Suitable enzymes include proteases, amylases, lipases, cellulases, peroxidases, and mixtures thereof of any suitable origin, such as vegetable, animal, bacterial, fungal and yeast origin. Preferred selections are influenced by factors such as pH-activity and/or stability optima, thermostability, and stability to active detergents, builders and the like. In this respect bacterial or fungal enzymes are preferred, such as bacterial amylases and proteases, and fungal cellulases.

"Detersive enzyme", as used herein, means any enzyme having a cleaning, stain removing or otherwise beneficial effect in a laundry, hard surface cleaning or personal care detergent composition. Preferred detersive enzymes are hydrolases such as proteases, amylases and lipases. Preferred enzymes for laundry purposes include, but are not limited to, proteases, cellulases, lipases and peroxidases. Highly preferred for automatic dishwashing are amylases and/or proteases, including both current commercially available types and improved types which, though more and more bleach compatible though successive improvements, have a remaining degree of bleach deactivation susceptibility.

Enzymes are normally incorporated into detergent or detergent additive compositions at levels sufficient to provide a "cleaning-effective amount". The term "cleaning effective amount" refers to any amount capable of producing a cleaning, stain removal, soil removal, whitening, deodorizing, or freshness improving effect on substrates such as fabrics, dishware and the like. In practical terms for current commercial preparations, typical amounts are up to about 5 mg by weight, more typically 0.01 mg to 3 mg, of active enzyme per gram of the detergent composition. Stated otherwise, the compositions herein will typically comprise from 0.001% to 5%, preferably 0.01%-1% by weight of a commercial enzyme preparation. Protease enzymes are usually present in such commercial preparations at levels sufficient to provide from 0.005 to 0.1 Anson units (AU) of activity per gram of composition. For certain detergents, such as in automatic dishwashing, it may be desirable to increase the active enzyme content of the commercial preparation in order to minimize the total amount of non-catalytically active materials and thereby improve spotting/filming or other end-results. Higher active levels may also be desirable in highly concentrated detergent formulations.

Suitable examples of proteases are the subtilisins which are obtained from particular strains of B. subtilis and B. licheniformis. One suitable protease is obtained from a strain of Bacillus, having maximum activity throughout the pH range of 8-12, developed and sold as ESPERASE® by Novo Industries A/S of Denmark, hereinafter "Novo". The preparation of this enzyme and analogous enzymes is described in GB 1,243,784 to Novo. Other suitable proteases include ALCALASE® and SAVINASE® from Novo and MAXATASE® from International Bio-Synthetics, Inc., The Netherlands; as well as Protease A as disclosed in EP 130,756 A, Jan. 9, 1985 and Protease B as disclosed in EP 303,761 A, Apr. 28, 1987 and EP 130,756 A, Jan. 9, 1985. See also a high pH protease from Bacillus sp. NCIMB 40338 described in WO 9318140 A to Novo. Enzymatic detergents comprising protease, one or more other enzymes, and a reversible protease inhibitor are described in WO 9203529 A to Novo. Other preferred proteases include those of WO 9510591 A to Procter & Gamble. When desired, a protease having decreased adsorption and increased hydrolysis is available as described in WO 9507791 to Procter & Gamble. A recombinant trypsin-like protease for detergents suitable herein is described in WO 9425583 to Novo.

In more detail, an especially preferred protease, referred to as "Protease D" is a carbonyl hydrolase variant having an amino acid sequence not found in nature, which is derived from a precursor carbonyl hydrolase by substituting a different amino acid for a plurality of amino acid residues at a position in said carbonyl hydrolase equivalent to position +76, preferably also in combination with one or more amino acid residue positions equivalent to those selected from the group consisting of +99, +101, +103, +104, +107, +123, +27, +105, +109, +126, +128, +135, +156, +166, +195, +197, +204, +206, +210, +216, +217, +218, +222, +260, +265, and/or +274 according to the numbering of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subtilisin, as described in the patent applications of A. Baeck, et al, entitled "Protease-Containing Cleaning Compositions" having U.S. Ser. No. 08/322,676, and C. Ghosh, et al, "Bleaching Compositions Comprising Protease Enzymes" having U.S. Ser. No. 08/322,677, both filed Oct. 13, 1994.

Amylases suitable herein, especially for, but not limited to automatic dishwashing purposes, include, for example, α-amylases described in GB 1,296,839 to Novo; RAPIDASE®, International Bio-Synthetics, Inc. and TERMAMYL®, Novo. FUNGAMYL® from Novo is especially useful. Engineering of enzymes for improved stability, e.g., oxidative stability, is known. See, for example J. Biological Chem., Vol. 260, No. 11, June 1985, pp 6518-6521. Certain preferred embodiments of the present compositions can make use of amylases having improved stability in detergents such as automatic dishwashing types, especially improved oxidative stability as measured against a reference-point of TERMAMYL® in commercial use in 1993. These preferred amylases herein share the characteristic of being "stability-enhanced" amylases, characterized, at a minimum, by a measurable improvement in one or more of: oxidative stability, e.g., to hydrogen peroxide/tetraacetylethylenediamine in buffered solution at pH 9-10; thermal stability, e.g., at common wash temperatures such as about 60° C.; or alkaline stability, e.g., at a pH from about 8 to about 11, measured versus the above-identified reference-point amylase. Stability can be measured using any of the art-disclosed technical tests. See, for example, references disclosed in WO 9402597. Stability-enhanced amylases can be obtained from Novo or from Genencor International. One class of highly preferred amylases herein have the commonality of being derived using site-directed mutagenesis from one or more of the Baccillus amylases, especialy the Bacillus α-amylases, regardless of whether one, two or multiple amylase strains are the immediate precursors. Oxidative stability-enhanced amylases vs. the above-identified reference amylase are preferred for use, especially in bleaching, more preferably oxygen bleaching, as distinct from chlorine bleaching, detergent compositions herein. Such preferred amylases include (a) an amylase according to the hereinbefore incorporated WO 9402597, Novo, Feb. 3, 1994, as further illustrated by a mutant in which substitution is made, using alanine or threonine, preferably threonine, of the methionine residue located in position 197 of the B. licheniformis alpha-amylase, known as TERMAMYL®, or the homologous position variation of a similar parent amylase, such as B. amyloliquefaciens, B.subtilis, or B.stearothermophilus; (b) stability-enhanced amylases as described by Genencor International in a paper entitled "Oxidatively Resistant alpha-Amylases" presented at the 207th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Mar. 13-17 1994, by C. Mitchinson. Therein it was noted that bleaches in automatic dishwashing detergents inactivate alpha-amylases but that improved oxidative stability amylases have been made by Genencor from B.licheniformis NCIB8061. Methionine (Met) was identified as the most likely residue to be modified. Met was substituted, one at a time, in positions 8, 15, 197, 256, 304, 366 and 438 leading to specific mutants, particularly important being M197L and M197T with the M197T variant being the most stable expressed variant. Stability was measured in CASCADE® and SUNLIGHT®; (c) particularly preferred amylases herein include amylase variants having additional modification in the immediate parent as described in WO 9510603 A and are available from the assignee, Novo, as DURAMYL®. Other particularly preferred oxidative stability enhanced amylase include those described in WO 9418314 to Genencor International and WO 9402597 to Novo. Any other oxidative stability-enhanced amylase can be used, for example as derived by site-directed mutagenesis from known chimeric, hybrid or simple mutant parent forms of available amylases. Other preferred enzyme modifications are accessible. See WO 9509909 A to Novo.

Cellulases usable herein include both bacterial and fungal types, preferably having a pH optimum between 5 and 9.5. U.S. Pat. No. 4,435,307, Barbesgoard et al, Mar. 6, 1984, discloses suitable fungal cellulases from Humicola insolens or Humicola strain DSM1800 or a cellulase 212-producing fungus belonging to the genus Aeromonas, and cellulase extracted from the hepatopancreas of a marine mollusk, Dolabella Auricula Solander. Suitable cellulases are also disclosed in GB-A-2.075.028; GB-A-2.095.275 and DE-OS-2.247.832. CAREZYME® (Novo) is especially useful. See also WO 9117243 to Novo.

Suitable lipase enzymes for detergent usage include those produced by microorganisms of the Pseudomonas group, such as Pseudomonas stutzeri ATCC 19.154, as disclosed in GB 1,372,034. See also lipases in Japanese Patent Application 53,20487, laid open Feb. 24, 1978. This lipase is available from Amano Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Nagoya, Japan, under the trade name Lipase P "Amano," or "Amano-P." Other suitable commercial lipases include Amano-CES, lipases ex Chromobacter viscosum, e.g. Chromobacter viscosum var. lipolyticum NRRLB 3673 from Toyo Jozo Co., Tagata, Japan; Chromobacter viscosum lipases from U.S. Biochemical Corp., U.S.A. and Disoynth Co., The Netherlands, and lipases ex Pseudomonas gladioli. LIPOLASE® enzyme derived from Humicola lanuginosa and commercially available from Novo, see also EP 341,947, is a preferred lipase for use herein. Lipase and amylase variants stabilized against peroxidase enzymes are described in WO 9414951 A to Novo. See also WO 9205249 and RD 94359044.

Cutinase enzymes suitable for use herein are described in WO 8809367 A to Genencor.

Peroxidase enzymes may be used in combination with oxygen sources, e.g., percarbonate, perborate, hydrogen peroxide, etc., for "solution bleaching" or prevention of transfer of dyes or pigments removed from substrates during the wash to other substrates present in the wash solution. Known peroxidases include horseradish peroxidase, ligninase, and haloperoxidases such as chloro- or bromo-peroxidase. Peroxidase-containing detergent compositions are disclosed in WO 89099813 A, Oct. 19, 1989 to Novo and WO 8909813 A to Novo.

A range of enzyme materials and means for their incorporation into synthetic detergent compositions is also disclosed in WO 9307263 A and WO 9307260 A to Genencor International, WO 8908694 A to Novo, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,553,139, Jan. 5, 1971 to McCarty et al. Enzymes are further disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,101,457, Place et al, Jul. 18, 1978, and in U.S. Pat. No. 4,507,219, Hughes, Mar. 26, 1985. Enzyme materials useful for liquid detergent formulations, and their incorporation into such formulations, are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,261,868, Hora et al, Apr. 14, 1981. Enzymes for use in detergents can be stabilised by various techniques. Enzyme stabilisation techniques are disclosed and exemplified in U.S. Pat. No. 3,600,319, Aug. 17, 1971, Gedge et al, EP 199,405 and EP 200,586, Oct. 29, 1986, Venegas. Enzyme stabilisation systems are also described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,519,570. A useful Bacillus, sp. AC13 giving proteases, xylanases and cellulases, is described in WO 9401532 A to Novo.

Enzyme Stabilizing System

Enzyme-containing, including but not limited to, liquid compositions, herein may comprise from about 0.001% to about 10%, preferably from about 0.005% to about 8%, most preferably from about 0.01% to about 6%, by weight of an enzyme stabilizing system. The enzyme stabilizing system can be any stabilizing system which is compatible with the detersive enzyme. Such a system may be inherently provided by other formulation actives, or be added separately, e.g., by the formulator or by a manufacturer of detergent-ready enzymes. Such stabilizing systems can, for example, comprise calcium ion, boric acid, propylene glycol, short chain carboxylic acids, boronic acids, and mixtures thereof, and are designed to address different stabilization problems depending on the type and physical form of the detergent composition.

One stabilizing approach is the use of water-soluble sources of calcium and/or magnesium ions in the finished compositions which provide such ions to the enzymes. Calcium ions are generally more effective than magnesium ions and are preferred herein if only one type of cation is being used. Typical detergent compositions, especially liquids, will comprise from about 1 to about 30, preferably from about 2 to about 20, more preferably from about 8 to about 12 millimoles of calcium ion per liter of finished detergent composition, though variation is possible depending on factors including the multiplicity, type and levels of enzymes incorporated. Preferably water-soluble calcium or magnesium salts are employed, including for example calcium chloride, calcium hydroxide, calcium formate, calcium malate, calcium maleate, calcium hydroxide and calcium acetate; more generally, calcium sulfate or magnesium salts corresponding to the exemplified calcium salts may be used. Further increased levels of Calcium and/or Magnesium may of course be useful, for example for promoting the grease-cutting action of certain types of surfactant.

Another stabilizing approach is by use of borate species. See Severson, U.S. Pat. No. 4,537,706. Borate stabilizers, when used, may be at levels of up to 10% or more of the composition though more typically, levels of up to about 3% by weight of boric acid or other borate compounds such as borax or orthoborate are suitable for liquid detergent use. Substituted boric acids such as phenylboronic acid, butaneboronic acid, p-bromophenylboronic acid or the like can be used in place of boric acid and reduced levels of total boron in detergent compositions may be possible though the use of such substituted boron derivatives.

Stabilizing systems of certain cleaning compositions, for example automatic dishwashing compositions, may further comprise from 0 to about 10%, preferably from about 0.01% to about 6% by weight, of chlorine bleach scavengers, added to prevent chlorine bleach species present in many water supplies from attacking and inactivating the enzymes, especially under alkaline conditions. While chlorine levels in water may be small, typically in the range from about 0.5 ppm to about 1.75 ppm, the available chlorine in the total volume of water that comes in contact with the enzyme, for example during dish- or fabric-washing, can be relatively large; accordingly, enzyme stability to chlorine in-use is sometimes problematic. Since perborate or percarbonate, which have the ability to react with chlorine bleach, may present in certain of the instant compositions in amounts accounted for separately from the stabilizing system, the use of additional stabilizers against chlorine, may, most generally, not be essential, though improved results may be obtainable from their use. Suitable chlorine scavenger anions are widely known and readily available, and, if used, can be salts containing ammonium cations with sulfite, bisulfite, thiosulfite, thiosulfate, iodide, etc. Antioxidants such as carbamate, ascorbate, etc., organic amines such as ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA) or alkali metal salt thereof, monoethanolamine (MEA), and mixtures thereof can likewise be used. Likewise, special enzyme inhibition systems can be incorporated such that different enzymes have maximum compatibility. Other conventional scavengers such as bisulfate, nitrate, chloride, sources of hydrogen peroxide such as sodium perborate tetrahydrate, sodium perborate monohydrate and sodium percarbonate, as well as phosphate, condensed phosphate, acetate, benzoate, citrate, formate, lactate, malate, tartrate, salicylate, etc., and mixtures thereof can be used if desired. In general, since the chlorine scavenger function can be performed by ingredients separately listed under better recognized functions, (e.g., hydrogen peroxide sources), there is no absolute requirement to add a separate chlorine scavenger unless a compound performing that function to the desired extent is absent from an enzyme-containing embodiment of the invention; even then, the scavenger is added only for optimum results. Moreover, the formulator will exercise a chemist's normal skill in avoiding the use of any enzyme scavenger or stabilizer which is majorly incompatible, as formulated, with other reactive ingredients, if used. In relation to the use of ammonium salts, such salts can be simply admixed with the detergent composition but are prone to adsorb water and/or liberate ammonia during storage. Accordingly, such materials, if present, are desirably protected in a particle such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,652,392, Baginski et al.

Bleaching Compounds--Bleaching Agents and Bleach Activators--The detergent compositions herein may optionally contain bleaching agents or bleaching compositions containing a bleaching agent and one or more bleach activators. When present, bleaching agents will typically be at levels of from about 1% to about 30%, more typically from about 5% to about 20%, of the detergent composition, especially for fabric laundering. If present, the amount of bleach activators will typically be from about 0.1% to about 60%, more typically from about 0.5% to about 40% of the bleaching composition comprising the bleaching agent-plus-bleach activator.

The bleaching agents used herein can be any of the bleaching agents useful for detergent compositions in textile cleaning, hard surface cleaning, or other cleaning purposes that are now known or become known. These include oxygen bleaches as well as other bleaching agents. Perborate bleaches, e.g., sodium perborate (e.g., mono- or tetra-hydrate) can be used herein.

Another category of bleaching agent that can be used without restriction encompasses percarboxylic acid bleaching agents and salts thereof. Suitable examples of this class of agents include magnesium monoperoxyphthalate hexahydrate, the magnesium salt of metachloro perbenzoic acid, 4-nonylamino-4-oxoperoxybutyric acid and diperoxydodecanedioic acid. Such bleaching agents are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,483,781, Hartman, issued Nov. 20, 1984, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 740,446, Burns et al, filed Jun. 3, 1985, European Patent Application 0,133,354, Banks et al, published Feb. 20, 1985, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,412,934, Chung et al, issued Nov. 1, 1983. Highly preferred bleaching agents also include 6-nonylamino-6-oxoperoxycaproic acid as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,634,551, issued Jan. 6, 1987 to Burns et al.

Peroxygen bleaching agents can also be used. Suitable peroxygen bleaching compounds include sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate and equivalent "percarbonate" bleaches, sodium pyrophosphate peroxyhydrate, urea peroxyhydrate, and sodium peroxide. Persulfate bleach (e.g., OXONE, manufactured commercially by DuPont) can also be used.

A preferred percarbonate bleach comprises dry particles having an average particle size in the range from about 500 micrometers to about 1,000 micrometers not more than about 10% by weight of said particles being smaller than about 200 micrometers and not more than about 10% by weight of said particles being larger than about 1,250 micrometers. Optionally, the percarbonate can be coated with silicate, borate or water-soluble surfactants. Percarbonate is available from various commercial sources such as FMC, Solvay and Tokai Denka.

Mixtures of bleaching agents can also be used.

Peroxygen bleaching agents, the perborates, the percarbonates, etc., are preferably combined with bleach activators, which lead to the in situ production in aqueous solution (i.e., during the washing process) of the peroxy acid corresponding to the bleach activator. Various nonlimiting examples of activators are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,915,854, issued Apr. 10, 1990 to Mao et al, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,412,934. The nonanoyloxybenzene sulfonate (NOBS) and tetraacetyl ethylene diamine (TAED) activators are typical, and mixtures thereof can also be used. See also U.S. Pat. No. 4,634,551 for other typical bleaches and activators useful herein.

Highly preferred amido-derived bleach activators are those of the formulae:

R1 N(R5)C(O)R2 C(O)L

or

R1 C(O)N(R5)R2 C(O)L

wherein R1 is an alkyl group containing from about 6 to about 12 carbon atoms, R2 is an alkylene containing from 1 to about 6 carbon atoms, R5 is H or alkyl, aryl, or alkaryl containing from about 1 to about 10 carbon atoms, and L is any suitable leaving group. A leaving group is any group that is displaced from the bleach activator as a consequence of the nucleophilic attack on the bleach activator by the perhydrolysis anion. A preferred leaving group is phenyl sulfonate.

Preferred examples of bleach activators of the above formulae include (6-octanamido-caproyl)oxybenzenesulfonate, (6-nonanamidocaproyl)oxybenzenesulfonate, (6-decanamido-caproyl)oxybenzenesulfonate, and mixtures thereof as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,634,551, incorporated herein by reference.

Another class of bleach activators comprises the benzoxazin-type activators disclosed by Hodge et al in U.S. Pat. No. 4,966,723, issued Oct. 30, 1990, incorporated herein by reference. A highly preferred activator of the benzoxazin-type is: ##STR1##

Still another class of preferred bleach activators includes the acyl lactam activators, especially acyl caprolactams and acyl valerolactams of the formulae: ##STR2## wherein R6 is H or an alkyl, aryl, alkoxyaryl, or alkaryl group containing from 1 to about 12 carbon atoms. Highly preferred lactam activators include benzoyl caprolactam, octanoyl caprolactam, 3,5,5-trimethylhexanoyl caprolactam, nonanoyl caprolactam, decanoyl caprolactam, undecenoyl caprolactam, benzoyl valerolactam, octanoyl valerolactam, decanoyl valerolactam, undecenoyl valerolactam, nonanoyl valerolactam, 3,5,5-trimethylhexanoyl valerolactam and mixtures thereof. See also U.S. Pat. No. 4,545,784, issued to Sanderson, Oct. 8, 1985, incorporated herein by reference, which discloses acyl caprolactams, including benzoyl caprolactam, adsorbed into sodium perborate.

Bleaching agents other than oxygen bleaching agents are also known in the art and can be utilized herein. One type of non-oxygen bleaching agent of particular interest includes photoactivated bleaching agents such as the sulfonated zinc and/or aluminum phthalocyanines. See U.S. Pat. No. 4,033,718, issued Jul. 5, 1977 to Holcombe et al. If used, detergent compositions will typically contain from about 0.025% to about 1.25%, by weight, of such bleaches, especially sulfonate zinc phthalocyanine.

If desired, the bleaching compounds can be catalyzed by means of a manganese compound. Such compounds are well known in the art and include, for example, the manganese-based catalysts disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,246,621, U.S. Pat. No. 5,244,594; U.S. Pat. No. 5,194,416; U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,606; and European Pat. App. Pub. Nos. 549,271A1, 549,272A1, 544,440A2, and 544,490A1; Preferred examples of these catalysts include MnIV 2 (u-O)3 (1,4,7-trimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclononane).sub.(ClO4)2, MnIV 4 (u-O)6 (1,4,7-triazacyclononane)4 (ClO4)4, MnIII MnIV 4 (u-O)1 (u-OAc)2- (1,4,7-trimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclononane)2 (ClO4)3, MnIV (1,4,7-trimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclononane)- (OCH3)3 (PF6), and mixtures thereof. Other metal-based bleach catalysts include those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,430,243 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,611. The use of manganese with various complex ligands to enhance bleaching is also reported in the following United States Patents: U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,728,455; 5,284,944; 5,246,612; 5,256,779; 5,280,117; 5,274,147; 5,153,161; and 5,227,084.

As a practical matter, and not by way of limitation, the compositions and processes herein can be adjusted to provide on the order of at least one part per ten million of the active bleach catalyst species in the aqueous washing liquor, and will preferably provide from about 0.1 ppm to about 700 ppm, more preferably from about 1 ppm to about 500 ppm, of the catalyst species in the laundry liquor.

The present invention compositions and methods for automatic dishwashing applications may utilize cobalt (III) bleach catalysts having the formula:

 Co(NH3)n (M)m (B)b !Ty 

wherein cobalt is in the +3 oxidation state; n is 4 or 5 (preferably 5); M is one or more ligands coordinated to the cobalt by one site; m is 0, 1 or 2 (preferably 1); B is a ligand coordinated to the cobalt by two sites; b is 0 or 1 (preferably 0), and when b=0, then m+n=6, and when b=1, then m=0 and n=4; and T is one or more appropriately selected counteranions present in a number y, where y is an integer to obtain a charge-balanced salt (preferably y is 1 to 3; most preferably 2 when T is a -1 charged anion); and wherein further said catalyst has a base hydrolysis rate constant of less than 0.23 M-1 s-1 (25° C.).

Preferred T are selected from the group consisting of chloride, iodide, I3 -, formate, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, sulfite, citrate, acetate, carbonate, bromide, PF6 -, BF4 -, B(Ph)4 -, phosphate, phosphite, silicate, tosylate, methanesulfonate, and combinations thereof. Optionally, T can be protonated if more than one anionic group exists in T, e.g., HPO4 2-, HCO3 -, H2 PO4 -, etc. Further, T may be selected from the group consisting of non-traditional inorganic anions such as anionic surfactants (e.g., linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS), alkyl sulfates (AS), alkylethoxysulfonates (AES), etc.) and/or anionic polymers (e.g., polyacrylates, polymethacrylates, etc.).

The M moieties include, but are not limited to, for example, F-, SO4 -2, NCS- SCN-, S2 O3 -2, NH3, PO4 3-, and carboxylates (which preferably are mono-carboxylates, but more than one carboxylate may be present in the moiety as long as the binding to the cobalt is by only one carboxylate per moiety, in which case the other carboxylate in the M moiety may be protonated or in its salt form). Optionally, M can be protonated if more than one anionic group exists in M (e.g., HPO4 2-, HCO3 -, H2 PO4 -, HOC(O)CH2 C(O)O--, etc.) Preferred M moieties are substituted and unsubstituted C1 -C30 carboxylic acids having the formulas:

RC(O)O--

wherein R is preferably selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1 -C30 (preferably C1 -C18) unsubstituted and substituted alkyl, C6 -C30 (preferably C6 -C18) unsubstituted and substituted aryl, and C3 -C30 (preferably C5 -C18) unsubstituted and substituted heteroaryl, wherein substituents are selected from the group consisting of --NR'3, --NR'4 +, --C(O)OR', --OR', --C(O)NR'2, wherein R' is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1 -C6 moieties. Such substituted R therefore include the moieties --(CH2)n OH and --(CH2)n NR'4 +, wherein n is an integer from 1 to about 16, preferably from about 2 to about 10, and most preferably from about 2 to about 5.

Most preferred M are carboxylic acids having the formula above wherein R is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, methyl, ethyl, propyl, straight or branched C4 -C12 alkyl, and benzyl. Most preferred R is methyl. Preferred carboxylic acid M moieties include formic, benzoic, octanoic, nonanoic, decanoic, dodecanoic, malonic, maleic, succinic, adipic, phthalic, 2-ethylhexanoic, naphthenoic, oleic, palmitic, triflate, tartrate, stearic, butyric, citric, acrylic, aspartic, fumaric, lauric, linoleic, lactic, malic, and especially acetic acid.

The B moieties include carbonate, di- and higher carboxylates (e.g., oxalate, malonate, malic, succinate, maleate), picolinic acid, and alpha and beta amino acids (e.g., glycine, alanine, beta-alanine, phenylalanine).

Cobalt bleach catalysts useful herein are known, being described for example along with their base hydrolysis rates, in M. L. Tobe, "Base Hydrolysis of Transition-Metal Complexes", Adv. Inorg. Bioinorg. Mech., (1983), 2, pages 1-94. For example, Table 1 at page 17, provides the base hydrolysis rates (designated therein as kOH) for cobalt pentaamine catalysts complexed with oxalate (kOH =2.5×10-4 M-1 s-1 (25° C.)), NCS- (kOH =5.0×10-4 M-1 s-1 (25° C.)), formate (kOH =5.8×10-4 M-1 s-1 (25° C.)), and acetate (kOH =9.6×10-4 M-1 s-1 (25° C.)). The preferred cobalt catalyst useful herein has the formula Co(NH3)5 OAc! Ty, wherein OAc represents an acetate moiety, and especially cobalt pentaamine acetate chloride, Co(NH3)5 OAc!Cl2 (herein "PAC"); as well as Co(NH3)5 OAc!(OAc)2 ; Co(NH3)5 OAc!(PF6)2 ; Co(NH3)5 OAc!(SO4); and Co(NH3)5 OAc!(BF4)2.

These cobalt catalysts are readily prepared by known procedures, such as taught for example in the Tobe article hereinbefore and the references cited therein, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,810,410, to Diakun et al, issued Mar. 7,1989, J. Chem. Ed. (1989), 66 (12), 1043-45; The Synthesis and Characterization of Inorganic Compounds, W. L. Jolly (Prentice-Hall; 1970), pp. 461-3; Inorg. Chem., 18, 1497-1502 (1979); Inorg. Chem., 21, 2881-2885 (1982); Inorg. Chem., 18, 2023-2025 (1979); Inorg. Synthesis, 173-176 (1960); and Journal of Physical Chemistry, 56, 22-25 (1952).

These cobalt catalysts may be coprocessed with adjunct materials so as to reduce the color impact if desired for the aesthetics of the product, or the composition may be manufactured to contain catalyst "speckles".

As a practical matter, and not by way of limitation, the automatic dishwashing compositions and processes herein can be adjusted to provide on the order of at least one part per ten million of the active cobalt catalyst species in the aqueous washing medium, and will preferably provide from about 0.1 ppm to about 50 ppm, more preferably from about 1 ppm to about 25 ppm, and most preferably from about 2 ppm to about 10 ppm, of the cobalt catalyst species in the wash liquor. In order to obtain such levels in the wash liquor, typical compositions herein will comprise from about 0.04% to about 1%, more preferably from about 0.08% to about 0.36, by weight of the compositions.

Builders--Detergent builders can optionally be included in the compositions herein to assist in controlling mineral hardness. Inorganic as well as organic builders can be used. Builders are typically used in fabric laundering compositions to assist in the removal of particulate soils.

The level of builder can vary widely depending upon the end use of the composition and its desired physical form. When present, the compositions will typically comprise at least about 1% builder. Liquid formulations typically comprise from about 5% to about 50%, more typically about 5% to about 30%, by weight, of detergent builder. Granular formulations typically comprise from about 10% to about 80%, more typically from about 15% to about 50% by weight, of the detergent builder. Lower or higher levels of builder, however, are not meant to be excluded.

Inorganic or P-containing detergent builders include, but are not limited to, the alkali metal, ammonium and alkanolammonium salts of polyphosphates (exemplified by the tripolyphosphates, pyrophosphates, and glassy polymeric meta-phosphates), phosphonates, phytic acid, silicates, carbonates (including bicarbonates and sesquicarbonates), sulphates, and aluminosilicates. However, non-phosphate builders are required in some locales. Importantly, the compositions herein function surprisingly well even in the presence of the so-called "weak" builders (as compared with phosphates) such as citrate, or in the so-called "underbuilt" situation that may occur with zeolite or layered silicate builders.

Examples of silicate builders are the alkali metal silicates, particularly those having a SiO2 :Na2 O ratio in the range 1.6:1 to 3.2:1 and layered silicates, such as the layered sodium silicates described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,664,839, issued May 12, 1987 to H. P. Rieck. NaSKS-6 is the trademark for a crystalline layered silicate marketed by Hoechst (commonly abbreviated herein as "SKS-6"). Unlike zeolite builders, the Na SKS-6 silicate builder does not contain aluminum. NaSKS-6 has the delta-Na2 SiO5 morphology form of layered silicate. It can be prepared by methods such as those described in German DE-A-3,417,649 and DE-A-3,742,043. SKS-6 is a highly preferred layered silicate for use herein, but other such layered silicates, such as those having the general formula NaMSix O2x+1.yH2 O wherein M is sodium or hydrogen, x is a number from 1.9 to 4, preferably 2, and y is a number from 0 to 20, preferably 0 can be used herein. Various other layered silicates from Hoechst include NaSKS-5, NaSKS-7 and NaSKS-11, as the alpha, beta and gamma forms. As noted above, the delta-Na2 SiO5 (NaSKS-6 form) is most preferred for use herein. Other silicates may also be useful such as for example magnesium silicate, which can serve as a crispening agent in granular formulations, as a stabilizing agent for oxygen bleaches, and as a component of suds control systems.

Examples of carbonate builders are the alkaline earth and alkali metal carbonates as disclosed in German Patent Application No. 2,321,001 published on Nov. 15, 1973.

Aluminosilicate builders are useful in the present invention. Aluminosilicate builders are of great importance in most currently marketed heavy duty granular detergent compositions, and can also be a significant builder ingredient in liquid detergent formulations. Aluminosilicate builders include those having the empirical formula:

Mz (zAlO2)y !.xH2 O

wherein z and y are integers of at least 6, the molar ratio of z to y is in the range from 1.0 to about 0.5, and x is an integer from about 15 to about 264.

Useful aluminosilicate ion exchange materials are commercially available. These aluminosilicates can be crystalline or amorphous in structure and can be naturally-occurring aluminosilicates or synthetically derived. A method for producing aluminosilicate ion exchange materials is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,985,669, Krummel, et al, issued Oct. 12, 1976. Preferred synthetic crystalline aluminosilicate ion exchange materials useful herein are available under the designations Zeolite A, Zeolite P (B), Zeolite MAP and Zeolite X. In an especially preferred embodiment, the crystalline aluminosilicate ion exchange material has the formula:

Na12  (AlO2)12 (SiO2)12 !.xH2 O

wherein x is from about 20 to about 30, especially about 27. This material is known as Zeolite A. Dehydrated zeolites (x=0-10) may also be used herein. Preferably, the aluminosilicate has a particle size of about 0.1-10 microns in diameter.

Organic detergent builders suitable for the purposes of the present invention include, but are not restricted to, a wide variety of polycarboxylate compounds. As used herein, "polycarboxylate" refers to compounds having a plurality of carboxylate groups, preferably at least 3 carboxylates. Polycarboxylate builder can generally be added to the composition in acid form, but can also be added in the form of a neutralized salt. When utilized in salt form, alkali metals, such as sodium, potassium, and lithium, or alkanolammonium salts are preferred.

Included among the polycarboxylate builders are a variety of categories of useful materials. One important category of polycarboxylate builders encompasses the ether polycarboxylates, including oxydisuccinate, as disclosed in Berg, U.S. Pat. No. 3,128,287, issued Apr. 7, 1964, and Lamberti et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,635,830, issued Jan. 18, 1972. See also "TMS/TDS" builders of U.S. Pat. No. 4,663,071, issued to Bush et al, on May 5, 1987. Suitable ether polycarboxylates also include cyclic compounds, particularly alicyclic compounds, such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,923,679; 3,835,163; 4,158,635; 4,120,874 and 4,102,903.

Other useful detergency builders include the ether hydroxypolycarboxylates, copolymers of maleic anhydride with ethylene or vinyl methyl ether, 1,3,5-trihydroxy benzene-2,4,6-trisulphonic acid, and carboxymethyloxysuccinic acid, the various alkali metal, ammonium and substituted ammonium salts of polyacetic acids such as ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid and nitrilotriacetic acid, as well as polycarboxylates such as mellitic acid, succinic acid, oxydisuccinic acid, polymaleic acid, benzene 1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid, carboxymethyloxysuccinic acid, and soluble salts thereof.

Citrate builders, e.g., citric acid and soluble salts thereof (particularly sodium salt), are polycarboxylate builders of particular importance for heavy duty liquid detergent formulations due to their availability from renewable resources and their biodegradability. Citrates can also be used in granular compositions, especially in combination with zeolite and/or layered silicate builders. Oxydisuccinates are also especially useful in such compositions and combinations.

Also suitable in the detergent compositions of the present invention are the 3,3-dicarboxy-4-oxa-1,6-hexanedioates and the related compounds disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,566,984, Bush, issued Jan. 28, 1986. Useful succinic acid builders include the C5 -C20 alkyl and alkenyl succinic acids and salts thereof. A particularly preferred compound of this type is dodecenylsuccinic acid. Specific examples of succinate builders include: laurylsuccinate, myristylsuccinate, palmitylsuccinate, 2-dodecenylsuccinate (preferred), 2-pentadecenylsuccinate, and the like. Laurylsuccinates are the preferred builders of this group, and are described in European Patent Application 86200690.5/0,200,263, published Nov. 5, 1986.

Other suitable polycarboxylates are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,144,226, Crutchfield et al, issued Mar. 13, 1979 and in U.S. Pat. No. 3,308,067, Diehl, issued Mar. 7, 1967. See also Diehl U.S. Pat. No. 3,723,322.

Fatty acids, e.g., C12 -C18 monocarboxylic acids, can also be incorporated into the compositions alone, or in combination with the aforesaid builders, especially citrate and/or the succinate builders, to provide additional builder activity. Such use of fatty acids will generally result in a diminution of sudsing, which should be taken into account by the formulator.

In situations where phosphorus-based builders can be used, and especially in the formulation of bars used for hand-laundering operations, the various alkali metal phosphates such as the well-known sodium tripolyphosphates, sodium pyrophosphate and sodium orthophosphate can be used. Phosphonate builders such as ethane-1-hydroxy-1,1-diphosphonate and other known phosphonates (see, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,159,581; 3,213,030; 3,422,021; 3,400,148 and 3,422,137) can also be used.

Polymeric Soil Release Agent--Known polymeric soil release agents, hereinafter "SRA", can optionally be employed in the present detergent compositions. If utilized, SRA's will generally comprise from 0.01% to 10.0%, typically from 0.1% to 5%, preferably from 0.2% to 3.0% by weight, of the compositions.

Preferred SRA's typically have hydrophilic segments to hydrophilize the surface of hydrophobic fibers such as polyester and nylon, and hydrophobic segments to deposit upon hydrophobic fibers and remain adhered thereto through completion of washing and rinsing cycles, thereby serving as an anchor for the hydrophilic segments. This can enable stains occurring subsequent to treatment with the SRA to be more easily cleaned in later washing procedures.

SRA's can include a variety of charged, e.g., anionic or even cationic species, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,956,447, issued Sep. 11, 1990 to Gosselink, et al., as well as noncharged monomer units, and their structures may be linear, branched or even star-shaped. They may include capping moieties which are especially effective in controlling molecular weight or altering the physical or surface-active properties. Structures and charge distributions may be tailored for application to different fiber or textile types and for varied detergent or detergent additive products.

Preferred SRA's include oligomeric terephthalate esters, typically prepared by processes involving at least one transesterification/oligomerization, often with a metal catalyst such as a titanium(IV) alkoxide. Such esters may be made using additional monomers capable of being incorporated into the ester structure through one, two, three, four or more positions, without, of course, forming a densely crosslinked overall structure.

Suitable SRA's include a sulfonated product of a substantially linear ester oligomer comprised of an oligomeric ester backbone of terephthaloyl and oxyalkyleneoxy repeat units and allyl-derived sulfonated terminal moieties covalently attached to the backbone, for example as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,968,451, Nov. 6, 1990 to J. J. Scheibel and E. P. Gosselink. Such ester oligomers can be prepared by: (a) ethoxylating allyl alcohol; (b) reacting the product of (a) with dimethyl terephthalate ("DMT") and 1,2-propylene glycol ("PG") in a two-stage transesterification/oligomerization procedure; and (c) reacting the product of (b) with sodium metabisulfite in water. Other SRA's include the nonionic end-capped 1,2-propylene/polyoxyethylene terephthalate polyesters of U.S. Pat. No. 4,711,730, Dec. 8, 1987 to Gosselink et al., for example those produced by transesterification/oligomerization of poly(ethyleneglycol) methyl ether, DMT, PG and poly(ethyleneglycol) ("PEG"). Other examples of SRA's include: the partly- and fully- anionic-end-capped oligomeric esters of U.S. Pat. No. 4,721,580, Jan. 26, 1988 to Gosselink, such as oligomers from ethylene glycol ("EG"), PG, DMT and Na-3,6-dioxa-8-hydroxyoctanesulfonate; the nonionic-capped block polyester oligomeric compounds of U.S. Pat. No. 4,702,857, Oct. 27, 1987 to Gosselink, for example produced from DMT, methyl (Me)-capped PEG and EG and/or PG, or a combination of DMT, EG and/or PG, Me-capped PEG and Na-dimethyl-5-sulfoisophthalate; and the anionic, especially sulfoaroyl, end-capped terephthalate esters of U.S. Pat. No. 4,877,896, Oct. 31, 1989 to Maldonado, Gosselink et al., the latter being typical of SRA's useful in both laundry and fabric conditioning products, an example being an ester composition made from m-sulfobenzoic acid monosodium salt, PG and DMT, optionally but preferably further comprising added PEG, e.g., PEG 3400.

SRA's also include: simple copolymeric blocks of ethylene terephthalate or propylene terephthalate with polyethylene oxide or polypropylene oxide terephthalate, see U.S. Pat. No. 3,959,230 to Hays, May 25, 1976 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,893,929 to Basadur, Jul. 8, 1975; cellulosic derivatives such as the hydroxyether cellulosic polymers available as METHOCEL from Dow; the C1 -C4 alkyl celluloses and C4 hydroxyalkyl celluloses, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,000,093, Dec. 28, 1976 to Nicol, et al.; and the methyl cellulose ethers having an average degree of substitution (methyl) per anhydroglucose unit from about 1.6 to about 2.3 and a solution viscosity of from about 80 to about 120 centipoise measured at 20° C. as a 2% aqueous solution. Such materials are available as METOLOSE SM100 and METOLOSE SM200, which are the trade names of methyl cellulose ethers manufactured by Shin-etsu Kagaku Kogyo KK.

Suitable SRA's characterised by poly(vinyl ester) hydrophobe segments include graft copolymers of poly(vinyl ester), e.g., C1 -C6 vinyl esters, preferably poly(vinyl acetate), grafted onto polyalkylene oxide backbones. See European Patent Application 0 219 048, published Apr. 22, 1987 by Kud, et al. Commercially available examples include SOKALAN SRA's such as SOKALAN HP-22, available from BASF, Germany. Other SRA's are polyesters with repeat units containing 10-15% by weight of ethylene terephthalate together with 80-90% by weight of polyoxyethylene terephthalate derived from a polyoxyethylene glycol of average molecular weight 300-5,000. Commercial examples include ZELCON 5126 from Dupont and MILEASE T from ICI.

Another preferred SRA is an oligomer having empirical formula (CAP)2 (EG/PG)5 (T)5 (SIP)1 which comprises terephthaloyl (T), sulfoisophthaloyl (SIP), oxyethyleneoxy and oxy-1,2-propylene (EG/PG) units and which is preferably terminated with end-caps (CAP), preferably modified isethionates, as in an oligomer comprising one sulfoisophthaloyl unit, 5 terephthaloyl units, oxyethyleneoxy and oxy-1,2-propyleneoxy units in a defined ratio, preferably about 0.5:1 to about 10:1, and two end-cap units derived from sodium 2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-ethanesulfonate. Said SRA preferably further comprises from 0.5% to 20%, by weight of the oligomer, of a crystallinity-reducing stabiliser, for example an anionic surfactant such as linear sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate or a member selected from xylene-, cumene-, and toluene- sulfonates or mixtures thereof, these stabilizers or modifiers being introduced into the synthesis vessel, all as taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,415,807, Gosselink, Pan, Kellett and Hall, issued May 16, 1995. Suitable monomers for the above SRA include Na-2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-ethanesulfonate. DMT, Na-dimethyl-5-sulfoisophthalate, EG and PG.

Yet another group of preferred SRA's are oligomeric esters comprising: (1) a backbone comprising (a) at least one unit selected from the group consisting of dihydroxysulfonates, polyhydroxy sulfonates, a unit which is at least trifunctional whereby ester linkages are formed resulting in a branched oligomer backbone, and combinations thereof; (b) at least one unit which is a terephthaloyl moiety; and (c) at least one unsulfonated unit which is a 1,2-oxyalkyleneoxy moiety; and (2) one or more capping units selected from nonionic capping units, anionic capping units such as alkoxylated, preferably ethoxylated, isethionates, alkoxylated propanesulfonates, alkoxylated propanedisulfonates, alkoxylated phenolsulfonates, sulfoaroyl derivatives and mixtures thereof. Preferred arc esters of the empirical formula:

{(CAP)x(EG/PG)y'(DEG)y"(PEG)y'"(T)z(SIP)z'(SEG)q(B)m}

wherein CAP, EG/PG, PEG, T and SIP are as defined hereinabove, (DEG) represents di(oxyethylene)oxy units, (SEG) represents units derived from the sulfoethyl ether of glycerin and related moiety units, (B) represents branching units which are at least trifunctional whereby ester linkages are formed resulting in a branched oligomer backbone, x is from about 1 to about 12, y' is from about 0.5 to about 25, y" is from 0 to about 12, y'" is from 0 to about 10, y'+y"+y'" totals from about 0.5 to about 25, z is from about 1.5 to about 25, z' is from 0 to about 12; z+z' totals from about 1.5 to about 25, q is from about 0.05 to about 12; m is from about 0.01 to about 10, and x, y', y", y'", z, z', q and m represent the average number of moles of the corresponding units per mole of said ester and said ester has a molecular weight ranging from about 500 to about 5,000.

Preferred SEG and CAP monomers for the above esters include Na-2-(2-,3-dihydroxypropoxy)ethanesulfonate ("SEG"), Na-2-{2-(2-hydroxyethoxy) ethoxy} ethanesulfonate ("SE3") and its homologs and mixtures thereof and the products of ethoxylating and sulfonating allyl alcohol. Preferred SRA esters in this class include the product of transesterifying and oligomerizing sodium 2-{2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy}ethanesulfonate and/or sodium 2- 2-{2-(2-hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy}ethoxy!ethanesulfonate, DMT, sodium 2-(2,3-dihydroxypropoxy) ethane sulfonate, EG, and PG using an appropriate Ti(IV) catalyst and can be designated as (CAP)2(T)5(EG/PG)1.4(SEG)2.5(B)0.13 wherein CAP is (Na+--O3 S CH2- CH2 O!3.5)-- and B is a unit from glycerin and the mole ratio EG/PG is about 1.7:1 as measured by conventional gas chromatography after complete hydrolysis.

Additional classes of SRA's include: (I) nonionic terephthalates using diisocyanate coupling agents to link polymeric ester structures, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,201,824, Violland et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,918 Lagasse et al.; and (II) SRA's with carboxylate terminal groups made by adding trimellitic anhydride to known SRA's to convert terminal hydroxyl groups to trimellitate esters. With the proper selection of catalyst, the trimellitic anhydride forms linkages to the terminals of the polymer through an ester of the isolated carboxylic acid of trimellitic anhydride rather than by opening of the anhydride linkage. Either nonionic or anionic SRA's may be used as starting materials as long as they have hydroxyl terminal groups which may be esterified. See U.S. Pat. No. 4,525,524 Tung et al. Other classes include: (III) anionic terephthalate-based SRA's of the urethane-linked variety, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,201,824, Violland et al.; (IV) poly(vinyl caprolactam) and related co-polymers with monomers such as vinyl pyrrolidone and/or dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate, including both nonionic and cationic polymers, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,579,681, Ruppert et al.; (V) graft copolymers, in addition to the SOKALAN types from BASF, made by grafting acrylic monomers onto sulfonated polyesters. These SRA's assertedly have soil release and anti-redeposition activity similar to known cellulose ethers: see EP 279,134 A, 1988, to Rhone-Poulenc Chemie. Still other classes include: (VI) grafts of vinyl monomers such as acrylic acid and vinyl acetate onto proteins such as caseins, see EP 457,205 A to BASF (1991); and (VII) polyester-polyamide SRA's prepared by condensing adipic acid, caprolactam, and polyethylene glycol, especially for treating polyamide fabrics, see Bevan et al., DE 2,335,044 to Unilever N. V., 1974. Other useful SRA's are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,240,918, 4,787,989 and 4,525,524.

Chelating Agents--The detergent compositions herein may also optionally contain one or more iron and/or manganese chelating agents. Such chelating agents can be selected from the group consisting of amino carboxylates, amino phosphonates, polyfunctionally-substituted aromatic chelating agents and mixtures therein, all as hereinafter defined. Without intending to be bound by theory, it is believed that the benefit of these materials is due in part to their exceptional ability to remove iron and manganese ions from washing solutions by formation of soluble chelates.

Amino carboxylates useful as optional chelating agents include ethylenediaminetetracetates, N-hydroxyethylethylenediaminetriacetates, nitrilotriacetates, ethylenediamine tetraproprionates, triethylenetetraaminehexacetates, diethylenetriaminepentaacetates, and ethanoldiglycines, alkali metal, ammonium, and substituted ammonium salts therein and mixtures therein.

Amino phosphonates are also suitable for use as chelating agents in the compositions of the invention when at lease low levels of total phosphorus are permitted in detergent compositions, and include ethylenediaminetetrakis (methylenephosphonates) as DEQUEST. Preferred, these amino phosphonates to not contain alkyl or alkenyl groups with more than about 6 carbon atoms.

Polyfunctionally-substituted aromatic chelating agents are also useful in the compositions herein. See U.S. Pat. No. 3,812,044, issued May 21, 1974, to Connor et al. Preferred compounds of this type in acid form are dihydroxydisulfobenzenes such as 1,2-dihydroxy-3,5-disulfobenzene.

A preferred biodegradable chelator for use herein is ethylenediamine disuccinate ("EDDS"), especially the S,S! isomer as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,704,233, Nov. 3, 1987, to Hartman and Perkins.

If utilized, these chelating agents will generally comprise from about 0.1% to about 10% by weight of the detergent compositions herein. More preferably, if utilized, the chelating agents will comprise from about 0.1% to about 3.0% by weight of such compositions.

Clay Soil Removal/Anti-redeposition Agents--The compositions of the present invention can also optionally contain water-soluble ethoxylated amines having clay soil removal and antiredeposition properties. Granular detergent compositions which contain these compounds typically contain from about 0.01% to about 10.0% by weight of the water-soluble ethoxylates amines; liquid detergent compositions typically contain about 0.01% to about 5%.

The most preferred soil release and anti-redeposition agent is ethoxylated tetraethylenepentamine. Exemplary ethoxylated amines are further described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,597,898, VanderMeer, issued Jul. 1, 1986. Another group of preferred clay soil removal-antiredeposition agents are the cationic compounds disclosed in European Patent Application 111,965, Oh and Gosselink, published Jun. 27, 1984. Other clay soil removal/antiredeposition agents which can be used include the ethoxylated amine polymers disclosed in European Patent Application 111,984, Gosselink, published Jun. 27, 1984; the zwitterionic polymers disclosed in European Patent Application 112,592, Gosselink, published Jul. 4, 1984; and the amine oxides disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,548,744, Connor, issued Oct. 22, 1985. Other clay soil removal and/or anti redeposition agents known in the art can also be utilized in the compositions herein. Another type of preferred antiredeposition agent includes the carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) materials. These materials are well known in the art.

Polymeric Dispersing Agents--Polymeric dispersing agents can advantageously be utilized at levels from about 0.1% to about 7%, by weight, in the compositions herein, especially in the presence of zeolite and/or layered silicate builders. Suitable polymeric dispersing agents include polymeric polycarboxylates and polyethylene glycols, although others known in the art can also be used. It is believed, though it is not intended to be limited by theory, that polymeric dispersing agents enhance overall detergent builder performance, when used in combination with other builders (including lower molecular weight polycarboxylates) by crystal growth inhibition, particulate soil release peptization, and anti-redeposition.

Polymeric polycarboxylate materials can be prepared by polymerizing or copolymerizing suitable unsaturated monomers, preferably in their acid form. Unsaturated monomeric acids that can be polymerized to form suitable polymeric polycarboxylates include acrylic acid, maleic acid (or maleic anhydride), fumaric acid, itaconic acid, aconitic acid, mesaconic acid, citraconic acid and methylenemalonic acid. The presence in the polymeric polycarboxylates herein or monomeric segments, containing no carboxylate radicals such as vinylmethyl ether, styrene, ethylene, etc. is suitable provided that such segments do not constitute more than about 40% by weight.

Particularly suitable polymeric polycarboxylates can be derived from acrylic acid. Such acrylic acid-based polymers which are useful herein are the water-soluble salts of polymerized acrylic acid. The average molecular weight of such polymers in the acid form preferably ranges from about 2,000 to 10,000, more preferably from about 4,000 to 7,000 and most preferably from about 4,000 to 5,000. Water-soluble salts of such acrylic acid polymers can include, for example, the alkali metal, ammonium and substituted ammonium salts. Soluble polymers of this type are known materials. Use of polyacrylates of this type in detergent compositions has been disclosed, for example, in Diehl, U.S. Pat. No. 3,308,067, issued Mar. 7, 1967.

Acrylic/maleic-based copolymers may also be used as a preferred component of the dispersing/anti-redeposition agent. Such materials include the water-soluble salts of copolymers of acrylic acid and maleic acid. The average molecular weight of such copolymers in the acid form preferably ranges from about 2,000 to 100,000, more preferably from about 5,000 to 75,000, most preferably from about 7,000 to 65,000. The ratio of acrylate to maleate segments in such copolymers will generally range from about 30:1 to about 1:1, more preferably from about 10:1 to 2:1. Water-soluble salts of such acrylic acid/maleic acid copolymers can include, for example, the alkali metal, ammonium and substituted ammonium salts. Soluble acrylate/maleate copolymers of this type are known materials which are described in European Patent Application No. 66915, published Dec. 15, 1982, as well as in EP 193,360, published Sep. 3, 1986, which also describes such polymers comprising hydroxypropylacrylate. Still other useful dispersing agents include the maleic/acrylic/vinyl alcohol terpolymers. Such materials are also disclosed in EP 193,360, including, for example, the 45/45/10 terpolymer of acrylic/maleic/vinyl alcohol.

Another polymeric material which can be included is polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG can exhibit dispersing agent performance as well as act as a clay soil removal-antiredeposition agent. Typical molecular weight ranges for these purposes range from about 500 to about 100,000, preferably from about 1,000 to about 50,000, more preferably from about 1,500 to about 10,000.

Polyaspartate and polyglutamate dispersing agents may also be used, especially in conjunction with zeolite builders. Dispersing agents such as polyaspartate preferably have a molecular weight (avg.) of about 10,000.

Brightener--Any optical brighteners or other brightening or whitening agents known in the art can be incorporated at levels typically from about 0.01% to about 1.2%, by weight, into the detergent compositions herein. Commercial optical brighteners which may be useful in the present invention can be classified into subgroups, which include, but are not necessarily limited to, derivatives of stilbene, pyrazoline, coumarin, carboxylic acid, methinecyanines, dibenzothiophene-5,5-dioxide, azoles, 5- and 6-membered-ring heterocycles, and other miscellaneous agents. Examples of such brighteners are disclosed in "The Production and Application of Fluorescent Brightening Agents", M. Zahradnik, Published by John Wiley & Sons, New York (1982).

Specific examples of optical brighteners which are useful in the present compositions are those identified in U.S. Pat. No. 4,790,856, issued to Wixon on Dec. 13, 1988. These brighteners include the PHORWHITE series of brighteners from Verona. Other brighteners disclosed in this reference include: Tinopal UNPA, Tinopal CBS and Tinopal 5BM; available from Ciba-Geigy; Artic White CC and Artic White CWD, the 2-(4-styryl-phenyl)-2H-naptho 1,2-d!triazoles; 4,4'-bis-(1,2,3-triazol-2-yl)-stilbenes; 4,4'-bis(styryl)bisphenyls; and the amino-coumarins. Specific examples of these brighteners include 4-methyl-7-diethyl-amino coumarin; 1,2-bis(benzimidazol-2-yl)ethylene; 1,3-diphenyl-pyrazolines; 2,5-bis(benzoxazol-2-yl)thiophene; 2-styryl-naptho 1,2-d!oxazole; and 2-(stilben-4-yl)-2H-naphtho 1,2-d!triazole. See also U.S. Pat. No. 3,646,015, issued Feb. 29, 1972 to Hamilton.

Suds Suppressors--Compounds for reducing or suppressing the formation of suds can be incorporated into the compositions of the present invention. Suds suppression can be of particular importance in the so-called "high concentration cleaning process" as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,489,455 and 4,489,574 and in front-loading European-style washing machines.

A wide variety of materials may be used as suds suppressors, and suds suppressors are well known to those skilled in the art. See, for example, Kirk Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Third Edition, Volume 7, pages 430-447 (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1979). One category of suds suppressor of particular interest encompasses monocarboxylic fatty acid and soluble salts therein. See U.S. Pat. No. 2,954,347, issued Sept. 27, 1960 to Wayne St. John. The monocarboxylic fatty acids and salts thereof used as suds suppressor typically have hydrocarbyl chains of 10 to about 24 carbon atoms, preferably 12 to 18 carbon atoms. Suitable salts include the alkali metal salts such as sodium, potassium, and lithium salts, and ammonium and alkanolammonium salts.

The detergent compositions herein may also contain non-surfactant suds suppressors. These include, for example: high molecular weight hydrocarbons such as paraffin, fatty acid esters (e.g., fatty acid triglycerides), fatty acid esters of monovalent alcohols, aliphatic C18 -C40 ketones (e.g., stearone), etc. Other suds inhibitors include N-alkylated amino triazines such as tri- to hexa-alkylmelamines or di- to tetra-alkyldiamine chlortriazines formed as products of cyanuric chloride with two or three moles of a primary or secondary amine containing 1 to 24 carbon atoms, propylene oxide, and monostearyl phosphates such as monostearyl alcohol phosphate ester and monostearyl di-alkali metal (e.g., K, Na, and Li) phosphates and phosphate esters. The hydrocarbons such as paraffin and haloparaffin can be utilized in liquid form. The liquid hydrocarbons will be liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, and will have a pour point in the range of about -40° C. and about 50° C., and a minimum boiling point not less than about 110° C. (atmospheric pressure). It is also known to utilize waxy hydrocarbons, preferably having a melting point below about 100° C. The hydrocarbons constitute a preferred category of suds suppressor for detergent compositions. Hydrocarbon suds suppressors are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,265,779, issued May 5, 1981 to Gandolfo et al. The hydrocarbons, thus, include aliphatic, alicyclic, aromatic, and heterocyclic saturated or unsaturated hydrocarbons having from about 12 to about 70 carbon atoms. The term "paraffin," as used in this suds suppressor discussion, is intended to include mixtures of true paraffins and cyclic hydrocarbons.

Another preferred category of non-surfactant suds suppressors comprises silicone suds suppressors. This category includes the use of polyorganosiloxane oils, such as polydimethylsiloxane, dispersions or emulsions of polyorganosiloxane oils or resins, and combinations of polyorganosiloxane with silica particles wherein the polyorganosiloxane is chemisorbed or fused onto the silica. Silicone suds suppressors are well known in the art and are, for example, disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,265,779, issued May 5, 1981 to Gandolfo et al and European Patent Application No. 89307851.9, published Feb. 7, 1990, by Starch, M. S.

Other silicone suds suppressors are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,455,839 which relates to compositions and processes for defoaming aqueous solutions by incorporating therein small amounts of polydimethylsiloxane fluids.

Mixtures of silicone and silanated silica are described, for instance, in German Patent Application DOS 2,124,526. Silicone defoamers and suds controlling agents in granular detergent compositions are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,933,672, Bartolotta et al, and in U.S. Pat. No. 4,652,392, Baginski et al, issued Mar. 24, 1987.

An exemplary silicone based suds suppressor for use herein is a suds suppressing amount of a suds controlling agent consisting essentially of:

(i) polydimethylsiloxane fluid having a viscosity of from about 20 cs. to about 1,500 cs. at 25° C.;

(ii) from about 5 to about 50 parts per 100 parts by weight of (i) of siloxane resin composed of (CH3)3 SiO1/2 units of SiO2 units in a ratio of from (CH3)3 SiO1/2 units and to SiO2 units of from about 0.6:1 to about 1.2:1; and

(iii) from about 1 to about 20 parts per 100 parts by weight of (i) of a solid silica gel.

In the preferred silicone suds suppressor used herein, the solvent for a continuous phase is made up of certain polyethylene glycols or polyethylene-polypropylene glycol copolymers or mixtures thereof (preferred), or polypropylene glycol. The primary silicone suds suppressor is branched/crosslinked and preferably not linear.

To illustrate this point further, typical liquid laundry detergent compositions with controlled suds will optionally comprise from about 0.001 to about 1, preferably from about 0.01 to about 0.7, most preferably from about 0.05 to about 0.5, weight % of said silicone suds suppressor, which comprises (1) a nonaqueous emulsion of a primary antifoam agent which is a mixture of (a) a polyorganosiloxane, (b) a resinous siloxane or a silicone resin-producing silicone compound, (c) a finely divided filler material, and (d) a catalyst to promote the reaction of mixture components (a), (b) and (c), to form silanolates; (2) at least one nonionic silicone surfactant; and (3) polyethylene glycol or a copolymer of polyethylene-polypropylene glycol having a solubility in water at room temperature of more than about 2 weight %; and without polypropylene glycol. Similar amounts can be used in granular compositions, gels, etc. See also U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,978,471, Starch, issued Dec. 18, 1990, and 4,983,316, Starch, issued Jan. 8, 1991, 5,288,431, Huber et al., issued Feb. 22, 1994, and U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,639,489 and 4,749,740, Aizawa et al at column 1, line 46 through column 4, line 35.

The silicone suds suppressor herein preferably comprises polyethylene glycol and a copolymer of polyethylene glycol/polypropylene glycol, all having an average molecular weight of less than about 1,000, preferably between about 100 and 800. The polyethylene glycol and polyethylene/polypropylene copolymers herein have a solubility in water at room temperature of more than about 2 weight %, preferably more than about 5 weight %.

The preferred solvent herein is polyethylene glycol having an average molecular weight of less than about 1,000, more preferably between about 100 and 800, most preferably between 200 and 400, and a copolymer of polyethylene glycol/polypropylene glycol, preferably PPG 200/PEG 300. Preferred is a weight ratio of between about 1:1 and 1:10, most preferably between 1:3 and 1:6, of polyethylene glycol:copolymer of polyethylene-polypropylene glycol.

The preferred silicone suds suppressors used herein do not contain polypropylene glycol, particularly of 4,000 molecular weight. They also preferably do not contain block copolymers of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, like PLURONICL101.

Other suds suppressors useful herein comprise the secondary alcohols (e.g., 2-alkyl alkanols) and mixtures of such alcohols with silicone oils, such as the silicones disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,798,679, 4,075,118 and EP 150,872. The secondary alcohols include the C6 -C16 alkyl alcohols having a C1 -C16 chain. A preferred alcohol is 2-butyl octanol, which is available from Condea under the trademark ISOFOL 12. Mixtures of secondary alcohols are available under the trademark ISALCHEM 123 from Enichem. Mixed suds suppressors typically comprise mixtures of alcohol+silicone at a weight ratio of 1:5 to 5:1.

For any detergent compositions to be used in automatic laundry washing machines, suds should not form to the extent that they overflow the washing machine. Suds suppressors, when utilized, are preferably present in a "suds suppressing amount. By "suds suppressing amount" is meant that the formulator of the composition can select an amount of this suds controlling agent that will sufficiently control the suds to result in a low-sudsing laundry detergent for use in automatic laundry washing machines.

The compositions herein will generally comprise from 0% to about 5% of suds suppressor. When utilized as suds suppressors, monocarboxylic fatty acids, and salts therein, will be present typically in amounts up to about 5%, by weight, of the detergent composition. Preferably, from about 0.5% to about 3% of fatty monocarboxylate suds suppressor is utilized. Silicone suds suppressors are typically utilized in amounts up to about 2.0%, by weight, of the detergent composition, although higher amounts may be used. This upper limit is practical in nature, due primarily to concern with keeping costs minimized and effectiveness of lower amounts for effectively controlling sudsing. Preferably from about 0.01% to about 1% of silicone suds suppressor is used, more preferably from about 0.25% to about 0.5%. As used herein, these weight percentage values include any silica that may be utilized in combination with polyorganosiloxane, as well as any adjunct materials that may be utilized. Monostearyl phosphate suds suppressors are generally utilized in amounts ranging from about 0.1% to about 2%, by weight, of the composition. Hydrocarbon suds suppressors are typically utilized in amounts ranging from about 0.01% to about 5.0%, although higher levels can be used. The alcohol suds suppressors are typically used at 0.2%-3% by weight of the finished compositions.

Fabric Softeners--Various through-the-wash fabric softeners, especially the impalpable smectite clays of U.S. Pat. No. 4,062,647, Storm and Nirschl, issued Dec. 13, 1977, as well as other softener clays known in the art, can optionally be used typically at levels of from about 0.5% to about 10% by weight in the present compositions to provide fabric softener benefits concurrently with fabric cleaning. Clay softeners can be used in combination with amine and cationic softeners as disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,375,416, Crisp et al, Mar. 1, 1983 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,291,071, Harris et al, issued Sep. 22, 1981.

Dye Transfer Inhibiting Agents--The compositions of the present invention may also include one or more materials effective for inhibiting the transfer of dyes from one fabric to another during the cleaning process. Generally, such dye transfer inhibiting agents include polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymers, polyamine N-oxide polymers, copolymers of N-vinylpyrrolidone and N-vinylimidazole, manganese phthalocyanine, peroxidases, and mixtures thereof. If used, these agents typically comprise from about 0.01% to about 10% by weight of the composition, preferably from about 0.01% to about 5%, and more preferably from about 0.05% to about 2%.

More specifically, the polyamine N-oxide polymers preferred for use herein contain units having the following structural formula: R--Ax --P; wherein P is a polymerizable unit to which an N--O group can be attached or the N--O group can form part of the polymerizable unit or the N--O group can be attached to both units; A is one of the following structures: --NC(O)--, --C(O)O--, --S--, --O--, --N═; x is 0 or 1; and R is aliphatic, ethoxylated aliphatics, aromatics, heterocyclic or alicyclic groups or any combination thereof to which the nitrogen of the N--O group can be attached or the N--O group is part of these groups. Preferred polyamine N-oxides are those wherein R is a heterocyclic group such as pyridine, pyrrole, imidazole, pyrrolidine, piperidine and derivatives thereof.

The N--O group can be represented by the following general structures: ##STR3## wherein R1 , R2, R3 are aliphatic, aromatic, heterocyclic or alicyclic groups or combinations thereof; x, y and z are 0 or 1; and the nitrogen of the N--O group can be attached or form part of any of the aforementioned groups. The amine oxide unit of the polyamine N-oxides has a pKa<10, preferably pKa<7, more preferred pKa<6.

Any polymer backbone can be used as long as the amine oxide polymer formed is water-soluble and has dye transfer inhibiting properties. Examples of suitable polymeric backbones are polyvinyls, polyalkylenes, polyesters, polyethers, polyamide, polyimides, polyacrylates and mixtures thereof. These polymers include random or block copolymers where one monomer type is an amine N-oxide and the other monomer type is an N-oxide. The amine N-oxide polymers typically have a ratio of amine to the amine N-oxide of 10:1 to 1:1,000,000. However, the number of amine oxide groups present in the polyamine oxide polymer can be varied by appropriate copolymerization or by an appropriate degree of N-oxidation. The polyamine oxides can be obtained in almost any degree of polymerization. Typically, the average molecular weight is within the range of 500 to 1,000,000; more preferred 1,000 to 500,000; most preferred 5,000 to 100,000. This preferred class of materials can be referred to as "PVNO".

The most preferred polyamine N-oxide useful in the detergent compositions herein is poly(4-vinylpyridine-N-oxide) which as an average molecular weight of about 50,000 and an amine to amine N-oxide ratio of about 1:4.

Copolymers of N-vinylpyrrolidone and N-vinylimidazole polymers (referred to as a class as "PVPVI") are also preferred for use herein. Preferably the PVPVI has an average molecular weight range from 5,000 to 1,000,000, more preferably from 5,000 to 200,000, and most preferably from 10,000 to 20,000. (The average molecular weight range is determined by light scattering as described in Barth, et al., Chemical Analysis, Vol 113. "Modern Methods of Polymer Characterization", the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.) The PVPVI copolymers typically have a molar ratio of N-vinylimidazole to N-vinylpyrrolidone from 1:1 to 0.2:1, more preferably from 0.8:1 to 0.3:1, most preferably from 0.6:1 to 0.4:1. These copolymers can be either linear or branched.

The present invention compositions also may employ a polyvinylpyrrolidone ("PVP") having an average molecular weight of from about 5,000 to about 400,000, preferably from about 5,000 to about 200,000, and more preferably from about 5,000 to about 50,000. PVP's are known to persons skilled in the detergent field; see, for example, EP-A-262,897 and EP-A-256,696, incorporated herein by reference. Compositions containing PVP can also contain polyethylene glycol ("PEG") having an average molecular weight from about 500 to about 100,000, preferably from about 1,000 to about 10,000. Preferably, the ratio of PEG to PVP on a ppm basis delivered in wash solutions is from about 2:1 to about 50:1, and more preferably from about 3:1 to about 10:1.

The detergent compositions herein may also optionally contain from about 0.005% to 5% by weight of certain types of hydrophilic optical brighteners which also provide a dye transfer inhibition action. If used, the compositions herein will preferably comprise from about 0.01% to 1% by weight of such optical brighteners.

The hydrophilic optical brighteners useful in the present invention are those having the structural formula: ##STR4## wherein R1 is selected from anilino, N-2-bis-hydroxyethyl and NH-2-hydroxyethyl; R2 is selected from N-2-bis-hydroxyethyl, N-2-hydroxyethyl-N-methylamino, morphilino, chloro and amino; and M is a salt-forming cation such as sodium or potassium.

When in the above formula, R1 is anilino, R2 is N-2-bis-hydroxyethyl and M is a cation such as sodium, the brightener is 4,4',-bis (4-anilino-6-(N-2-bis-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine-2-yl)amino!-2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid and disodium salt. This particular brightener species is commercially marketed under the tradename Tinopal-UNPA-GX by Ciba-Geigy Corporation. Tinopal-UNPA-GX is the preferred hydrophilic optical brightener useful in the detergent compositions herein.

When in the above formula, R1 is anilino, R2 is N-2-hydroxyethyl-N-2-methylamino and M is a cation such as sodium, the brightener is 4,4'-bis (4-anilino-6-(N-2-hydroxyethyl-N-methylamino)-s-triazine-2-yl)amino!2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid disodium salt. This particular brightener species is commercially marketed under the tradename Tinopal 5BM-GX by Ciba-Geigy Corporation.

When in the above formula, R1 is anilino, R2 is morphilino and M is a cation such as sodium, the brightener is 4,4'-bis (4-anilino-6-morphilino-s-triazine-2-yl)amino!2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid, sodium salt. This particular brightener species is commercially marketed under the tradename Tinopal AMS-GX by Ciba Geigy Corporation.

The specific optical brightener species selected for use in the present invention provide especially effective dye transfer inhibition performance benefits when used in combination with the selected polymeric dye transfer inhibiting agents hereinbefore described. The combination of such selected polymeric materials (e.g., PVNO and/or PVPVI) with such selected optical brighteners (e.g., Tinopal UNPA-GX, Tinopal 5BM-GX and/or Tinopal AMS-GX) provides significantly better dye transfer inhibition in aqueous wash solutions than does either of these two detergent composition components when used alone. Without being bound by theory, it is believed that such brighteners work this way because they have high affinity for fabrics in the wash solution and therefore deposit relatively quick on these fabrics. The extent to which brighteners deposit on fabrics in the wash solution can be defined by a parameter called the "exhaustion coefficient". The exhaustion coefficient is in general as the ratio of a) the brightener material deposited on fabric to b) the initial brightener concentration in the wash liquor. Brighteners with relatively high exhaustion coefficients are the most suitable for inhibiting dye transfer in the context of the present invention.

Of course, it will be appreciated that other, conventional optical brightener types of compounds can optionally be used in the present compositions to provide conventional fabric "brightness" benefits, rather than a true dye transfer inhibiting effect. Such usage is conventional and well-known to detergent formulations.

pH and Buffering Variation

Many automatic dishwashing detergent compositions herein will be buffered, i.e., they are relatively resistant to pH drop in the presence of acidic soils. However, other compositions herein may have exceptionally low buffering capacity, or may be substantially unbuffered. Techniques for controlling or varying pH at recommended usage levels more generally include the use of not only buffers, but also additional alkalis, acids, pH-jump systems, dual compartment containers, etc., and are well known to those skilled in the art.

The preferred ADD compositions herein comprise a pH-adjusting component selected from water-soluble alkaline inorganic salts and water-soluble organic or inorganic builders. The pH-adjusting components are selected so that when the ADD is dissolved in water at a concentration of 1,000-5,000 ppm, the pH remains in the range of above about 8, preferably from about 9.5 to about I 1. The preferred nonphosphate pH-adjusting component of the invention is selected from the group consisting of:

(i) sodium carbonate or sesquicarbonate;

(ii) sodium silicate, preferably hydrous sodium silicate having SiO2 :Na2 O ratio of from about 1:1 to about 2:1, and mixtures thereof with limited quantites of sodium metasilicate;

(iii) sodium citrate;

(iv) citric acid;

(v) sodium bicarbonate;

(vi) sodium borate, preferably borax;

(vii) sodium hydroxide; and

(viii) mixtures of(i)-(vii).

Preferred embodiments contain low levels of silicate (i.e. from about 3% to about 10% SiO2).

Illustrative of highly preferred pH-adjusting component systems are binary mixtures of granular sodium citrate with anhydrous sodium carbonate, and three-component mixtures of granular sodium citrate trihydrate, citric acid monohydrate and anhydrous sodium carbonate.

The amount of the pH adjusting component in the instant ADD compositions is preferably from about 1% to about 50%, by weight of the composition. In a preferred embodiment, the pH-adjusting component is present in the ADD composition in an amount from about 5% to about 40%, preferably from about 10% to about 30%, by weight.

For compositions herein having a pH between about 9.5 and about 11 of the initial wash solution, particularly preferred ADD embodiments comprise, by weight of ADD, from about 5% to about 40%, preferably from about 10% to about 30%, most preferably from about 15% to about 20%, of sodium citrate with from about 5% to about 30%, preferably from about 7% to 25%, most preferably from about 8% to about 20% sodium carbonate.

The essential pH-adjusting system can be complemented (i.e. for improved sequestration in hard water) by other optional detergency builder salts selected from nonphosphate detergency builders known in the art, which include the various water-soluble, alkali metal, ammonium or substituted ammonium borates, hydroxysulfonates, polyacetates, and polycarboxylates. Preferred are the alkali metal, especially sodium, salts of such materials. Alternate water-soluble, non-phosphorus organic builders can be used for their sequestering properties. Examples of polyacetate and polycarboxylate builders are the sodium, potassium, lithium, ammonium and substituted ammonium salts of ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid; nitrilotriacetic acid, tartrate monosuccinic acid, tartrate disuccinic acid, oxydisuccinic acid, carboxymethoxysuccinic acid, mellitic acid, and sodium benzene polycarboxylate salts.

(a) Water-Soluble Silicates

The present automatic dishwashing detergent compositions may further comprise water-soluble silicates. Water-soluble silicates herein are any silicates which are soluble to the extent that they do not adveresely affect spotting/filming characteristics of the ADD composition.

Examples of silicates are sodium metasilicate and, more generally, the alkali metal silicates, particularly those having a SiO2 :Na2 O ratio in the range 1.6:1 to 3.2:1; and layered silicates, such as the layered sodium silicates described in U.S. Pat No. 4,664,839, issued May 12, 1987 to H. P. Rieck. NaSKS-6® is a crystalline layered silicate marketed by Hoechst (commonly abbreviated herein as "SKS-6"). Unlike zeolite builders, Na SKS-6 and other water-soluble silicates usefule herein do not contain aluminum. NaSKS-6 is the δ-Na2 SiO5 form of layered silicate and can be prepared by methods such as those described in German DE-A-3,417,649 and DE-A-3,742,043. SKS-6 is a preferred layered silicate for use herein, but other such layered silicates, such as those having the general formula NaMSix O2x+1.yH2 O wherein M is sodium or hydrogen, x is a number from 1.9 to 4, preferably 2, and y is a number from 0 to 20, preferably 0 can be used. Various other layered silicates from Hoechst include NaSKS-5, NaSKS-7 and NaSKS-11, as the α-, β- and γ-forms. Other silicates may also be useful, such as for example magnesium silicate, which can serve as a crispening agent in granular formulations, as a stabilizing agent for oxygen bleaches, and as a component of suds control systems.

Silicates particularly useful in automatic dishwashing (ADD) applications include granular hydrous 2-ratio silicates such as BRITESIL® H2 O from PQ Corp., and the commonly sourced BRITESIL® H24 though liquid grades of various silicates can be used when the ADD composition has liquid form. Within safe limits, sodium metasilicate or sodium hydroxide alone or in combination with other silicates may be used in an ADD context to boost wash pH to a desired level.

Material Care Agents--The present ADD compositions may contain one or more material care agents which are effective as corrosion inhibitors and/or anti-tarnish aids. Such materials are preferred components of machine dishwashing compositions especially in certain European countries where the use of electroplated nickel silver and sterling silver is still comparatively common in domestic flatware, or when aluminium protection is a concern and the composition is low in silicate. Generally, such material care agents include metasilicate, silicate, bismuth salts, manganese salts, paraffin, triazoles, pyrazoles, thiols, mercaptans, aluminium fatty acid salts, and mixtures thereof.

When present, such protecting materials are preferably incorporated at low levels, e.g., from about 0.01% to about 5% of the ADD composition. Suitable corrosion inhibitors include paraffin oil, typically a predominantly branched aliphatic hydrocarbon having a number of carbon atoms in the range of from about 20 to about 50; preferred paraffin oil is selected from predominantly branched C25-45 species with a ratio of cyclic to noncyclic hydrocarbons of about 32:68. A paraffin oil meeting those characteristics is sold by Wintershall, Salzbergen, Germany, under the trade name WINOG 70. Additionally, the addition of low levels of bismuth nitrate (i.e., Bi(NO3)3) is also preferred.

Other corrosion inhibitor compounds include benzotriazole and comparable compounds; mercaptans or thiols including thionaphtol and thioanthranol; and finely divided Aluminium fatty acid salts, such as aluminium tristearate. The formulator will recognize that such materials will generally be used judiciously and in limited quantities so as to avoid any tendency to produce spots or films on glassware or to compromise the bleaching action of the compositions. For this reason, mercaptan anti-tarnishes which are quite strongly bleach-reactive and common fatty carboxylic acids which precipitate with calcium in particular are preferably avoided.

Other Ingredients--A wide variety of other ingredients useful in detergent compositions can be included in the compositions herein, including other active ingredients, carriers, hydrotropes, processing aids, dyes or pigments, solvents for liquid formulations, solid fillers for bar compositions, etc. If high sudsing is desired, suds boosters such as the C10 -C16 alkanolamides can be incorporated into the compositions, typically at 1%-10% levels. The C10 -C14 monoethanol and diethanol amides illustrate a typical class of such suds boosters. Use of such suds boosters with high sudsing adjunct surfactants such as the amine oxides, betaines and sultaines noted above is also advantageous. If desired, soluble magnesium salts such as MgCl2, MgSO4, and the like, can be added at levels of, typically, 0.1%-2%, to provide additional suds and to enhance grease removal performance.

Various detersive ingredients employed in the present compositions optionally can be further stabilized by absorbing said ingredients onto a porous hydrophobic substrate, then coating said substrate with a hydrophobic coating. Preferably, the detersive ingredient is admixed with a surfactant before being absorbed into the porous substrate. In use, the detersive ingredient is released from the substrate into the aqueous washing liquor, where it performs its intended detersive function.

To illustrate this technique in more detail, a porous hydrophobic silica (trademark SIPERNAT D10, DeGussa) is admixed with a proteolytic enzyme solution containing 3%-5% of C13-15 ethoxylated alcohol (EO 7) nonionic surfactant. Typically, the enzyme/surfactant solution is 2.5×the weight of silica. The resulting powder is dispersed with stirring in silicone oil (various silicone oil viscosities in the range of 500-12,500 can be used). The resulting silicone oil dispersion is emulsified or otherwise added to the final detergent matrix. By this means, ingredients such as the aforementioned enzymes, bleaches, bleach activators, bleach catalysts, photoactivators, dyes, fluorescers, fabric conditioners and hydrolyzable surfactants can be "protected" for use in detergents, including liquid laundry detergent compositions.

Liquid detergent compositions can contain water and other solvents as carriers. Low molecular weight primary or secondary alcohols exemplified by methanol, ethanol, propanol, and isopropanol are suitable. Monohydric alcohols are preferred for solubilizing surfactant, but polyols such as those containing from 2 to about 6 carbon atoms and from 2 to about 6 hydroxy groups (e.g., 1,3-propanediol, ethylene glycol, glycerine, and 1,2-propanediol) can also be used. The compositions may contain from 5% to 90%, typically 10% to 50% of such carriers.

The detergent compositions herein will preferably be formulated such that, during use in aqueous cleaning operations, the wash water will have a pH of between about 6.5 and about 11, preferably between about 7.5 and 10.5. Liquid dishwashing product formulations preferably have a pH between about 6.8 and about 9.0. Laundry products are typically at pH 9-11. Techniques for controlling pH at recommended usage levels include the use of buffers, alkalis, acids, etc., and are well known to those skilled in the art.

High Density Granular Detergent Composition

The glassy particle delivery systems herein can be used in both low density (below 550 grams/liter) and high density granular detergent compositions in which the density of the granule is at least 550 grams/liter. Such high density detergent compositions typically comprise from about 30% to about 90% of detersive surfactant.

Low density compositions can be prepared by standard spray-drying processes. Various means and equipment are available to prepare high density granular detergent compositions. Current commercial practice in the field employs spray-drying towers to manufacture granular laundry detergents which often have a density less than about 500 g/l. Accordingly, if spray drying is used as part of the overall process, the resulting spray-dried detergent particles must be further densified using the means and equipment described hereinafter. In the alternative, the formulator can eliminate spray-drying by using mixing, densifying and granulating equipment that is commercially available. The following is a nonlimiting description of such equipment suitable for use herein.

High speed mixer/densifiers can be used in the present process. For example, the device marketed under the trademark "Lodige CB30" Recycler comprises a static cylindrical mixing drum having a central rotating shaft with mixing/cutting blades mounted thereon. Other such apparatus includes the devices marketed under the trademark "Shugi Granulator" and under the trademark "Drais K-TTP 80". Equipment such as that marketed under the trademark "Lodige KM600 Mixer" can be used for further densification.

In one mode of operation, the compositions are prepared and densified by passage through two mixer and densifier machines operating in sequence. Thus, the desired compositional ingredients can be admixed and passed through a Lodige mixture using residence times of 0.1 to 1.0 minute then passed through a second Lodige mixer using residence times of 1 minute to 5 minutes.

In another mode, an aqueous slurry comprising the desired formulation ingredients is sprayed into a fluidized bed of particulate surfactants. The resulting particles can be further densified by passage through a Lodige apparatus, as noted above. The glassy particles are admixed with the detergent composition in the Lodige apparatus.

The final density of the particles herein can be measured by a variety of simple techniques, which typically involve dispensing a quantity of the granular detergent into a container of known volume, measuring the weight of detergent and reporting the density in grams/liter.

Once the low or high density granular detergent "base" composition is prepared, the glassy particle delivery system of this invention is added thereto by any suitable dry-mixing operation.

The method of washing fabrics and depositing perfume thereto comprises contacting said fabrics with an aqueous wash liquor comprising at least about 100 ppm of conventional detersive ingredients described hereinabove, as well as at least about 1 ppm of the above-disclosed perfume delivery system. Preferably, said aqueous liquor comprises from about 500 ppm to about 20,000 ppm of the conventional detersive ingredients and from about 10 ppm to about 200 ppm of the perfume delivery system.

The glassy particle delivery system works under all circumstances, but is particularly useful for providing perfume odor benefits on fabrics during storage, drying or ironing. The method comprises contacting fabrics with an aqueous liquor containing at least about 100 ppm of conventional detersive ingredients and at least about 1 ppm of the perfume delivery composition such that the perfumed zeolite particles are entrained on the fabrics, storing line-dried fabrics under ambient conditions with humidity of at least 20%, drying the fabric in a conventional automatic dryer, or applying heat to fabrics which have been line-dried or machine dried at low heat (less than about 50° C.) by conventional ironing means (preferably with steam or pre-wetting).

The following nonlimiting examples illustrate the parameters of and compositions employed within the invention. All percentages, parts and ratios are by weight unless otherwise indicated.

EXAMPLE I

1. Preparation of fragrance loaded zeolite

10 gr of activated zeolite Na-X (<5% residual moisture) is placed in a simple mixer or coffee grinder type of mixing device. To that 1.5 gr of perfume is added in a drop-wise fashion. The mixture is agitated for about 10 min. resulting in a PLZ (Perfume Loaded Zeolite) with a 15% w/w loading.

2. Preparation of low moisture hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (Tg=120° C.)

100 g of hydrogenated starch hydrolysate such as POLYSORB RA-1000 from Roquette America (75% solids) is heated under continuous agitation until enough water is removed to obtain a low moisture syrup containing less than 5% water. Under atmospheric pressure such low water levels lead to boiling points of the viscous syrup in the range of 150°-160° C.

3. Combination of PLZ and low moisture syrup

PLZ is added to the hot low moisture syrup. Typically a level of 20-40% by weight PLZ is added. For efficient mixing, high energy input (such as the use of a high-torque mixer or extruder) is preferred.

4. Glass particle formation/size reduction

The PLZ dispersion in the low moisture syrup is allowed to cool to ambient temperature. As the temperature of the system falls below the glass transition temperature of the syrup, a glassy system is obtained which can be ground and sized to various particle sizes. Alternatively, the system in its rubbery or maleable state can be prilled or pelletized to form particles of desired size and shape.

5. Combination of particulate glass of step (4) with detergent base

2.22% of the glassy particles may be added to a detergent formulation, delivering 0.67% of PIZ and 0.1% of perfume.

EXAMPLE II

An execution similar to the Example I but using an 80:20 mixture of sucrose/maltodextrin (D.E.=10) in place of the hydrogenated starch hydrolysate is run. Such systems may also comprise a mixture of sucrose or other low MW oligosaccharide and a polysaccharide or starch with a D.E. of less than 15, preferably <10, at a level of at least 10% w/w. A typical sucrose/maltodextrin melt comprised of 80% sucrose and 20% LoDex 5 (ex American Maize) containing 2% water. The melt is then fed to a ZSK 30 Werner&Pfleiderer twin screw extruder with the PLZ added at a 20% w/w level in the seventh zone of the extruder. The extrudates are cooled to 90° C. and are cut and sized to 500-1000 μm particles.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification510/507, 510/315, 510/485, 510/474, 510/377, 510/276, 510/101
International ClassificationC11D3/50
Cooperative ClassificationC11D3/505
European ClassificationC11D3/50B2
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Mar 16, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, THE, OHIO
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